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April 16, 2009

Dancing Rabbit Featured on Nickelodeon TV Program

NEW YORK, April 9, 2009 – People who don’t use energy from the electric company are said to be living “off the grid.” As many as 350,000 U.S. households now meet their own energy needs, and it’s estimated that close to four or five million homes will be going off the grid in the next 10 years.

To commemorate Earth Day on April 22, the Emmy Award-winning series Nick News with Linda Ellerbee explores the lives of families who are off the grid in various ways and shows us what it is like to be a kid living in an energy self-sufficient household, on A Kid off the Grid, premiering Sunday, April 19, at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

“For most of us, going off the grid is more of a goal than a reality and requires sacrifices, and nobody seems to understand that quicker or better than kids,” said Linda Ellerbee. “We can’t continue living on this planet as if we had another one to go to. Anything we can do to help protect our natural resources, really helps to protect us.”

Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village is a community in Rutledge, Missouri, that is entirely off the grid. Their homes are made out of recycled materials. They get their energy from solar panels, grow their own food and filter their own water from rainfall. Rowan, a kid who lives in the community, says, “We keep track of the weather because if it’s not going to be sunny for a few days, we have to conserve it for lights so we don’t turn on any video games or radio.” The theory is: People will eventually have to learn to do with less — and it’s not as hard as it sounds. The kids at Dancing Rabbit agree.

Actor and activist Ed Begley Jr., known for riding his bike to red carpet events, who says he “wanted to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” lives in an eco-friendly home in Studio City, CA. His nine-year-old daughter Hayden explains what life is like be a movie star’s kid who lives in a house where you get your energy from solar panels, recycle, use biodegradable soaps and detergents, and grow your own vegetables. Hayden says, “It’s our responsibility to protect the environment because we are the people of the world.” When Ed drives, he uses his electric car (powered by solar energy), or his bike, or — his favorite — his feet. Ed adds, “With six billion of us on the planet, I think we need to live simply so that others can simply live.”

Some other “city” people are beginning to try to move away from the grid. Alexis, from Bronx, NY, has a rooftop garden on her building, known as a Greenroof. Greenroofs help lower overall building energy costs because of their natural thermal insulation, making structures cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In Oakland, CA, Isaiah helps save the environment by walking to school rather than driving, unplugging devices from the wall when he isn’t using them, and turning off the water when brushing his teeth. Isaiah, says, “One person shutting the light off would make a big difference and if that person told the next couple of people to shut their lights off that would make an even bigger difference. It’s like dropping a stone in the water; it ripples outward and the ripple gets bigger and bigger.”

Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 19th year, and is the longest-running kids’ news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, Nick News has received more than 20 Emmy nominations and numerous Emmy wins, including last year, when “The Untouchable Kids of India” won the 2008 Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program. In 2007, “Private Worlds: Kids and Autism” won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming. In 1994, the entire series, Nick News, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming. In 1998, “What Are You Staring At?” a program about kids with physical disabilities, won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming. In 2002, “Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan,” won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming. In 2004, two Nick News Specials, “The Courage to Live: Kids, South Africa and AIDS” and “There’s No Place Like Home,” a special about homeless kids in America, were both nominated for the Outstanding Children’s Programming Emmy. In 2005, it won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Programming for its show, “From the Holocaust to the Sudan.” Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is also the recipient of three Peabody Awards, including a personal award given to Ellerbee for her coverage for kids of the President Clinton investigation. The series has also received two Columbia duPont Awards and more than a dozen Parents’ Choice Awards.

Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 98 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 14 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.


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