Dear Ann:

I want to thank you for believing in the power of young people to change the world. Your column last year helped inspire more than 2 million students and 17,000 educators to participate in the Do Something Kindness & Justice Challenge in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

Through the Challenge, young people learn the values taught by my father--responsibility, compassion, nonviolence and moral courage. And they put these values into practice by performing Acts of Kindness (helping others) and Justice (standing up for what is right) in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.

This year, I hope every young person in America will participate and help carry my father's legacy into the new century. For two weeks, starting on the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday (Jan. 17), students in grades K-12 can write down the Acts of Kindness and Justice they perform, and post their acts on the Internet. Each school that performs 1,000 acts or more will receive special recognition.

Teachers can register and obtain all materials for the 2000 Challenge on the Internet at or by writing to Do Something, 423 W. 55th St., Eighth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10019. Educators will receive a free guide with grade-appropriate curriculum that includes daily activities, instructions for posting acts on the Internet and incentives to encourage participation.

By taking action to improve our communities and nation, we will help make my father's dream a reality.

Martin Luther King III

Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to tell my readers, especially teachers, about the Kindness & Justice Challenge.

By participating in the challenge during the two weeks between Jan. 17 and Jan. 28, students learn respect, responsibility, compassion, nonviolence, generosity and moral courage. Students and teachers can post their acts on the Internet, keep track of their community-building efforts, and share stories with students nationwide. All participating students receive a certificate signed by Martin Luther King III, and trophies are awarded to top performing students in each state. Outstanding students, educators and schools are also eligible to win prizes.

Do Something's mission is to inspire young people to believe in their power to create positive change, and to give them the tools to take action. I urge all educators to sign up for the Kindness & Justice Challenge today. You can make a difference.

Dear Ann:

People are always complaining about the nuisance of cell phones. I know you have printed letters on this subject before, but I hope you will print one more.

When I see drivers run a red light, fail to stop at a stop sign, or drive like they are preoccupied, 99 percent of the time the person at the wheel is talking on a cell phone. I hear that cars will soon come equipped with computers enabling people to access the Internet while driving. Phones and TVs in our cars are already dangerous distractions. Please comment on this new-age lunacy.

A Terrified American

There should be a national law making such nonsense illegal. Computers? Internet access? Ridiculous! The new voice-activated, hands-free computers that give directions are the only exception I can think of. And small VCRs for back-seat viewing on long trips are fine, but the driver must never be distracted from his or her main job, which is staying alert at the wheel.

To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at, Creators Syndicate Inc.