Nickelodeon Calls on Kids for ‘Big Green Help’

Nickelodeon, a cable television network targeted to children and teens, will launch a series of on and off-channel ecological initiatives on April 22, Earth Day.

The multiplatform campaign includes the airing of green-themed episodes of popular tween shows iCarly and True Jackson, VP, along with select preschool series on Nickelodeon and sibling channel Noggin, all leading up to a “Power Down” activity at 9 p.m. ET on both networks. Power Down asks viewers to turn off the lights in their homes for 60 seconds to signal a commitment to becoming environmentally conscious.

“On Earth Day, we are using the power of our brand to connect kids to an issue of importance to them,” said Marva Smalls, executive vp, public affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group, in a statement. “More than half of kids have told us they are concerned about the environment. By working with our partners, and through initiatives like our new grants program and Power Down, we are providing them with tools and resources to help them be better environmental custodians.”

Leading up to Earth Day, Nickelodeon also will encourage kids to go online and officially pledge to take action in their schools and communities. On April 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee will premiere “A Kid Off the Grid,” a special episode that explores the lives of kids and their families living in energy self-sufficient households. Real kids who are already taking steps to help the environment will appear in on-air promos throughout Earth Day as well.

More than 2 million kids have pledged online to participate in The Big Green Help, a series of events and activities on and after Earth Day. Nickelodeon has partnered with 12 national organizations – such as the U.S. Forest Service, National Education Association, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Wildlife Federation and the National Football League — for local Earth Day events and activities in the U.S.; more than 500 are already scheduled to take place.

The network’s off-channel celebration will continue with the introduction of the The Big Green Help grants program, which will provide resources of up to $5,000 to schools and community-based organizations for the creation of projects geared towards environmental action, for which online applications will be accepted from April 22 to Dec. 31, 2009. The campaign Web site, www.biggreenhelp.com, offers information and tools to kids about climate changes, along with online gaming and grassroots activity they can participate in.