What is a hero? My World Book dictionary defines a hero as "a man or boy admired for his bravery, great deeds, or noble qualities" but I think it's not quite as simple as that -- and it's certainly a topic worth discussing. Today's subject was suggested by a reader who said that a teacher friend of his was having difficulty finding material on heroes. Loving a challenge, I got right to work. I hope these sites will stimulate discussion and help you form your own definition of the word.
Columnist Randy Cassingham created HeroicStories because "You always hear about the people who do wrong, hurt others, take advantage, rob and steal. But they are the minority. HeroicStories are about everyday real people who step up to the challenge and help others when they're needed." But you won't find these stories on the Web, rather you receive them via email three times a week. The HeriocStories newsletter is free, of course, and you can cancel at anytime. To whet your appetite, two sample stories and a small archive of recent newsletters are available at the Web site.
Time Magazine gives us "twenty people who articulate the longings of the last 100 years, exemplifying courage, selflessness, exuberance, superhuman ability and amazing grace." This list is awesome and includes the obvious (such as Mother Theresa and Helen Keller) as well as the more obscure (such as the Victorian suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst.) Each hero has a bio page with links to additional resources and multimedia clips. Heroes and Icons is part of the larger Time 100 feature, with a quiz to test your knowledge of the century's movers and shakers.
The Heroes Gallery is but one choice among twenty on fun, kid topics such as Space, Family Vacations, and Crazy Costumes. Arriving at the Heroes Gallery, you can view hero artwork created by other kids and surf Web sites about specific heroes including Ben Franklin and Michael Jordan. If you take the time to register at this award-winning site (it's free), you'll be able to submit your own hero artwork for sharing with other MaMaMedia kids.
Who's your hero? Is it your dad, your best friend or your high-school English teacher? This Web site seeks your input. "The My Hero Project offers children, teachers and their parents a powerful way to combine cutting-edge technologies with timeless values and old-fashioned storytelling, while opening windows to the world around us. We invite you, your family, friends, classroom or organization to join us in our ongoing celebration of great heroes. By linking these new Web pages to our bank of stories (thousands of pages long!) you can be part of this unique online event honoring the best of humanity."