Make a Pocket Power Pal at Be My Neighbor Day
Celebrating Kindness and the Spirit of Fred Rogers
Natalie Kolb, the 8-year-old daughter of WITF’s Vice President of Education Andrea Kolb, was selected as a Youth Service America 2023 Heartwarming Young Heroes Grantee to bring her Pocket Power Pals to kids in York at WITF’s upcoming Be My Neighbor Day!
The idea behind Pocket Power Pals is founded in the empathy she learned from Daniel Tiger, her mom and her mentor, WITF’s Spelling Bee Coordinator Ruth Keim.
In her grant application, Natalie shared that “everybody has to do things sometimes that are hard and make them feel scared.” Though she turned to her stuffies to feel braver when she was a little kid, she was teased for liking stuffies when she got older. That moment brought about her idea for Pocket Power Pals.
She wants Pocket Power Pals to teach other kids to be superheroes for other kids in real life, because “we all need a hero sometimes.”
She started by painting a few Pocket Power Pals to have pictures on them, like lightning, a big muscle, a butterfly or a superhero. Each rock also has a word of encouragement to give the recipient power. You can carry the Pocket Power Pal in your pocket all day, or you can give them away to another kid to encourage them and share the power.
Natalie explains, “When you see someone who needs strength, you go and give them your Pocket Power Pal to help them feel stronger and braver and safer. That’s kindness to me. Then when you don’t need your pocket superpower anymore or you find someone else who needs it more, you pass it on. One rock might help a lot of kids. And the person who gave it to you might be your new friend! You are not alone and someone else is cheering for you. That’s what the Pocket Power Pal means.”
As part of her grant, Natalie will host a learning station at Be My Neighbor Day where hundreds of kids like her will have the chance to make their own Pocket Power Pals. Her mentor Ruth, her mom, and her friends from ballet class, and WITF teachers will volunteer to help the kids who visit her learning station to make at least one Power Pocket Pal that they can take home with them.
Natalie writes, “If I help 500 kids make Pocket Power Pals and then they each give at least one to one other kid, that would be 1,000 kids. It can only get better from there!”
Join WITF at Be My Neighbor Day at Keystone Kidspace on April 29 from 9am – Noon to make a Power Pocket Pal with Natalie and her friends, enjoy many other activities, and meet Daniel Tiger!