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Programs for the planet aim to get kids working on world's biggest cleanup


This week, Nickelodeon offers special programming in honor of Earth Day on Thursday. To help youngsters develop more insight into environmental issues, Nick devotes its Sunday schedule to programs related to "green" topics.

Linda Ellerbee will host "Kids World Council: Plan It for the Planet" from the Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Fla. The goal is for kids to share ideas and coordinate a plan of action that will persuade others to act and produce measurable results, in addition to influencing adults to make policy decisions.

The theme of "Plan It for the Planet" is energy--how kids can help the United States cut back on carbon-monoxide emissions by being energy-efficient and how they can help make renewable energy more popular.

Highlights of the event will be presented on Nickelodeon Special Edition: Plan It For the Planet (8-8:30 p.m.).

Earlier in the day there will be Top-of-the-Hour Live Updates from the council, including features from the energy fair, various working groups and a solar box cookout.

Letters to the Earth (1-1:30 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m.) is a collection of video letters from kids around the world expressing their concerns for a clean and safe future for the planet. Letters range from a Scottish boy living near a recent oil spill to a fifth-grade class in New Jersey building solar box cookers.

Environmentally themed episodes of Welcome Freshmen, Salute Your Shorts and Wild & Crazy Kids (2-4 p.m.) are also scheduled.

"Plan It For the Planet" airs Sunday on Nickelodeon; For ages 5 and up.


Disney also offers its share of Earth Day shows on Thursday:

The three Umbrella Tree puppets gain respect for Mother Nature on the special Celebrating the Earth Under the Umbrella Tree (7:30-8 p.m.) as they listen to neighbor Marie Blackbird weave the Native American story of how the Earth was created. Blackbird then lets the youngsters design her garden. For ages 2 and up.

Disney will feature rebroadcasts of environmentally themed shows: This Island Earth (1-2 p.m.; 9-10 p.m.) with Kenny Loggins; No Man's Valley (2-2:30 p.m.), an animated show about saving the condor; Ferngully ... The Last Rainforest (6-8 p.m.), an animated fantasy feature; Mickey Mouse Club Rocks the Planet (8-8:30 p.m.), a special concert honoring the Earth; and Gorillas in the Mist (10-midnight), Dian Fossey's epic about her life with the simians. For ages 2 and up.

"McDonald's Family Theater" presents The Magic Paintbrush (Thursday, 8:30-9 p.m. CBS), an animated special about a young boy who receives a paintbrush that brings his paintings to life. For ages 2 to 9.

The Incredible Mr. Limpet, a longtime favorite of parents as well as a sleeper cult-classic, comes to the Family Channel on Friday (8-10 p.m.). This 1964 movie, which successfully combines live-action and animation, stars Don Knotts as a meek fish-fanatic bookkeeper who dreams of being a fish. He gets his wish by jumping off a dock at Coney Island and turning into a fish and ends up helping the U.S. Navy guide submarine chasers to Nazi U-boats during World War II. And as a bonus, he even meets an attractive lady fish. For ages 4 and up .

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