Friday, December 29, 2006

Ring in the New Year with New Moon

Girls, what are you doing over the winter break? What is your favorite part of this holiday season? Do you make New Year's resolutions? What are you looking forward to in 2007? Write to to share your thoughts and stories!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Be a Political Journalist!

I'm very excited because yesterday a delivery truck came and brought boxes and boxes and boxes full of the "Letter to Congress" issue of New Moon! I also sent all the web content off to our web designer, so the "Letter to Congress" website should be up at the beginning of January. Make sure to watch your mailboxes for the arrival of this special issue!

Although we've been working on "Letter to Congress" since July, the real excitement is just beginning. We hope the issue will inspire a wave of action around girls' issues. One way to keep the momentum for this issue going is to follow up on the many topics covered in "Letter to Congress"-- from girls' health to animal rights to free speech on the internet.

This is where YOU come in! When you read the "Letter to Congress" issue, pay attention to any issue that really sparks your interest. Then, consider becoming a political journalist blogger for New Moon. As a political journalist blogger, you would pay attention to news and legislation regarding a certain issue. When a bill stalled, got passed, or modified, you'd let New Moon know so we can post it to our blog and keep all our readers updated on the progress of issues addressed in "Letter to Congress." Of course, you'll get a byline (credit) for all your updates!

If you're interested in reporting on political issues, email !

Monday, December 18, 2006

7-year-old Jaedyn writes and publishes to save endangered animals

When we surveyed girls about their political concerns, many of you said you were concerned about the environment, including saving endangered animals. I recently got an email from Jaedyn, age 7, who's written a book about this.

"I wanted to share with you how I am making a difference. When I learned that some animals are in danger of becoming extinct, I knew I had to do something about it. I wasn't sure if other kids knew they could help these animals so I wrote a book to let them know. The best part is that I am going to use the proceeds from the book to help protect animals. My goal is to raise enough money so that I can adopt all the endangered animals. My book is called Last One Left: Saving Endangered Animals. It is professionally illustrated, commercially published and is designed to teach other kids about these animals and let them know there are ways we kids can make a difference! The word is spreading; Last One Left is available in animal sanctuaries in Tampa, Florida; Naples, Florida; and Chipley, Florida as well as in a shop called Essence in Tomball, Texas. But I need your help to make sure everyone knows how important it is to protect our animals and our earth. Will you help me to save endangered animals?"

To learn more, check out Jaedyn's website, Books By Jaedyn. She keeps a blog, too!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ain’t I A Woman?

In 1851, at the Ohio Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth gave her most famous speech on behalf of women’s rights, commonly known as “Ain’t I a Woman?” Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would make Sojourner Truth the first African-American woman honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol building. Now it’s up to the president to sign the bill.

I’m glad that Sojourner Truth is being recognized, but some people think she should be honored in the Capitol’s “Portrait Monument” instead. Read more about the controversy here, then tell us what YOU think.

Another one of my favorite women from herstory is Fannie Lou Hamer, who stood up for black citizens’ right to vote during the Civil Rights movement. In 1962, Fannie Lou was the first to raise her hand when members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) asked for volunteers from Fannie Lou’s town to go to the courthouse to register to vote. Police beat and jailed Fannie Lou and the other volunteers when they went to the courthouse, but that didn’t stop her from traveling around the country to register other voters.

I have a couple of posters about Fannie Lou by local poet and photographer Sue (Lorenzi) Sojourner hanging in my cubicle. And I learned more about SNCC when I attended the opening of Sue’s Some People of That Place photo exhibit a few years ago. It was amazing--I'm awed by the courage of so many women and men who took a stand!

Who are YOUR favorite women from herstory? Who inspires you? Leave a comment or write to to let us know!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Speak up for the rights of girls

Here in the office, we're very excited because our January/February 2007 issue, "Letter to Congress" is on press RIGHT NOW! Kate, the Executive Editor, will be at the printer's making sure that it looks exactly the way we want it.

When the Letter to Congress issue mails to stores and subscribers, we'll be launching a special section of our website to go with it. I couldn't wait that long to share some of our special content with you, though.

A few days ago, I received a letter from a friend of New Moon who told us about Unicef's Voices of Youth campaign. The Voices of Youth campaign is working to end discrimination and violence against girls, and they want girls' input about where their focus should be. Please check out this website and fill out the questionairre before January 15th, 2007. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

M&M Cookie Recipe (from Hershey's)

Kate brought M&M cookies to the cookie exchange. Try this recipe and let us know how it went by emailing! Happy Baking!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups M&Ms

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix flour, soda, and salt.

3. In separate bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in M&Ms.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

They're super yummy warm!

Cinnamon-sugar Cookies AKA Snickerdoodles

For the cookie exchange, Catherine brought Snickerdoodles. Make these cookies and let us know how it went by emailing Have Fun!

Makes 48 Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still slightly firm
1 2/3 cups sugar, plus ¼ cup for topping
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 2/3 cups sugar until light, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping bowl as needed, until dough comes together when squeezed (it will appear dry).

2. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together remaining ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon.

3. Shape dough by scooping 48 level tablespoons. Squeeze each tightly with fist; roll into balls. Roll balls in topping to coat evenly. Place 1 ½ inches apart on baking sheets; flatten with bottom of a glass. Sprinkle tops with remaining topping (there may be excess).

4. Bake, one sheet at a time, until tops are puffed and crackly, and bottoms are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More on single-sex education

Here on the New Moon blog, we've been talking a lot about single-sex education lately. People have been writing in with strong opinions on both sides. I recently got a letter from a girl who has gone to both a co-ed and an all-girls school which I'd like to share with you.

"I currently go to an all girls school and I think it is the most fabulous place in the world! I have gone to co-ed schools before but I love the learning environment at my school. Girls are focused on their education, ready to learn, and not flaunting themselves distractingly. My classmates are kind and compassionate girls who are polite, considerate and trusting! We do not lock our lockers and we leave our things lying about without any fear of theft. We share everything, food, notes, cellphones; and sharing is not a sacrifice to us! We talk about our classes, teachers, the condition of the world, technology, our social lives, and how we hate and love boys. Boys are not our enemies or our classmates, but they are a part of our lives as we meet them at other places.

At the co-ed school I was at, we learned nothing because all of our attention was given to impressing boys! There was large amount of suspicion floating around the school like a deadly disease and we couldn't share anything, including thoughts and feelings, because we knew they would be destroyed! Is that the type of environment we want to grow and learn in? Why would we subject ourselves to that?

However, we do not live in a female dominated world and learning how to deal with boys and men is an essential part of development. Some schools enroll both boys and girls but the classes are separated by gender. Is this a happy medium? It is scientifically proven that the brains of boys and girls are physically different and that boys and girls have different learning styles. Daisy, 14
Victoria, British Columbia."

To read more about the topic of single-sex education, click here. Make sure to read the comments on the posts, too, and to leave your own thoughts!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Chocolate Revel Bar Recipe

For our cookie exchange, Jen brought Chocolate Revel Bars. They are a staff favorite!! Try the recipe below. Then, let us know how it went by emailing


Base and Topping
1 Cup Butter or Margarine (Using those butter-flavored Crisco sticks also works)
2 Cups Brown Sugar (Regular, not Dark)
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 1/4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oatmeal (Regular, not instant/quick oats)

2 Tablespoons Butter
14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan
3. Cream the butter or margarine using an electric mixer, add the brown sugar and cream, and the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix.
4. Stir in the baking soda, flour, and oatmeal (you'll need to use a wooden spoon at this stage because it gets very thick)
5. Spread 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Save the rest for topping later.
6. Combine the 'Filling' ingredients in a 4-cup glass measuring cup or bowl in the order they are listed. Microwave on high for 2:30 minutes and stir. Microwave another minute at a time, stirring after each minute until the chocolate chips are melted.
7. Pour and spread the filling over the crust in the pan. Drop small, flattened chunks of the remaining crust mixture over the chocolate filling. You may not have enough to cover the entire pan, so don't worry.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cookie Exchange!

Today was cookie exchange day at our office! And let me tell ya, New Moonies really know how to bake!

Last night I made cinnamon sugar cookies, also known as snickerdoodles, for the exchange, and they turned out fine. Thank goodness! I had never actually participated in a cookie exchange before today, though I've certainly enjoyed my fair share of leftover cookies from cookie exchanges.

The idea behind a cookie exchange is simple: every person makes just one big batch of cookies, but everyone ends up with lots of different kinds of cookies! Many people hold cookie exchanges during the winter holiday season--if you're entertaining guests, it's handy to be able to pull out a beautiful plate of cookies. My parents give cookies as holiday gifts to their neighbors every year. At my house, we'll probably just eat all the cookies I take home from the exchange ourselves!

From reading an article in the Duluth News Tribune last week and from talking to other New Moonies, I found out that people have lots of different ideas about how a cookie exchange should work! Here at New Moon, we each brought two dozen cookies to share. We set them all out on a table and everyone took turns loading up their plates with some of each. Not everyone announced ahead of time what kind of cookies they were planning to bring--I know I made my decision based on the ingredients I had in my cupboards last night!--but only a few people brought similar kinds of cookies, and they used different recipes. It worked out really well!

I wanted to make my signature holiday cookies--chocolate peanut butter balls--for the exchange, but I wasn't quite that organized. My sister usually makes lots of cookies--Russian tea cakes, tassies, thumbprints, gingerbread, and more. What's YOUR favorite holiday cookie? Have you ever participated in a cookie exchange? How did it work? Leave a comment or send your story to

We'll post our cookie recipes later this week, so make sure to check back!

Here's Sandy carrying a good-lookin' plate of cookies--Yum! Didn't Melanie take great photos?!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Things

Our friends at YouthLearn recently put together a neat list of 100 Big Things that have impacted youth in the last 5 years.

Here are just a few of the cool things on YouthLearn's list:

24. PBS Kids website
Leveraging the wide portfolio of characters on its TV shows, PBS offers children free games and activities at its website, as well as resources for educators and parents. This site is hugely popular in youth centers and afterschool programs around the country given the safe, educational nature of the content.

33. Global Kids Online Game Project
Can young people design a game that's got some real world substance to it? At Global Kids the answer is "yes," and the Cost of Life game tests the boundaries offun and social conscience.

38. UNICEF Voices of Youth
This UNICEF initiative reorganized itself in 2002 as an international forum for youth to "explore, speak out, and take action."

34. Girls Creating Games
Another program we're fans of--using simple Flash based games to engage young women in technology and personal exploration.

52. Radio Diaries/Teen Reporter Handbook
OK, not new within the last five years, but still a great resource for educators and young radio producers.

53. Youth Radio on The Web
Storytelling and investigative journalism by youth air on a growing list of media outlets, including NPR, PRI, WireTap, etc., but are also available for streaming or podcast off the Youth Radio site.

54. Uth TV
Originally launched as a prime-time local Bay area broadcast, Uth TV has moved to the web and is showing how the YouTube model can me both purposeful and hip.

57. ListenUp!
The premier network for youth media organizations around the U.S. with great resources on production, analysis, and dissemination. Check out their site for a huge archive of youth-produced media that can be viewed right online.

To see YouthLearn's entire list of inspiring organizations and cool websites, go to Then, get out there and create your own media!

Friday, December 01, 2006

What does 'a group like that' mean?

Here is an awesome letter to the editor written by Selene, a Girls Editorial Board member. The letter was printed in the December 1, 2006 issue of the Duluth News Tribune.

This is regarding the Nov. 26 letter about the Minneapolis airport incident in which six praying Muslims scared another passenger and resulted in questioning of the Muslims, having their backgrounds checked, being "free to go," but not being allowed to continue on the same airline ("Passenger deserves praise for response to clerics"). The writer states "when a group like that acts in a strange manner." What does "a group like that" mean? Does it mean a group of people praying on airplanes, or is it a group fitting the American standard of terrorists? I have family members who are Iranian and most of them are dark and have a "Middle-Eastern look," but none of them are terrorists.

What classifies "acting in a strange manner?" There are many different religions that have different times and reasons for praying. In some religions, you must pray at certain times of day or before you do certain things. I suspect if a Caucasian person was praying on a plane in a specifically Christian way, he or she would not be pulled off the plane for questioning and perhaps even arrest.

I agree with the writer on one thing — our world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but definitely not for the better. Airlines need to have security measures in place, but racial profiling is not the way to go. Maybe terrorists don’t all wear big turbans and have bushy, black beards; maybe they look like the American ideal of a normal person — maybe.

I think the country has more than enough people like the lady who "warned" the authorities about the praying Muslims. Instead, we need more people who don’t look at every person from the Middle East with suspicion. Suspicion should be reserved for somebody who actually has done something horrible. It’s not for us to decide who looks like a terrorist and who doesn’t.

The writer is 12 years old.

This letter is a good example of a way to let your voice be heard! Writing to New Moon is another! You can also write your mayor, talk to your principal, or start a petition. What are some ways that you let YOUR VOICE be heard? Tell us about it by emailing