Earth Day started in 1970, just as the environmental movements were starting. It has been a day to consider the health of our planet and to encourage conservation, environmental thinking, and to enjoy the beauty of the world.
Each year, around Earth Day, I join with Authors for Earth Day to present a school program. Before I go, I ask teachers and students to consider five different environmental organizations. They look up information on the goals of each organization and vote on their favorite. Then, a portion of my speaking fee is donated to that organization in honor of the school.
During the school visit, I discussed the three nature books listed below. Students were interested and asked piercing questions. Even the kindergartners surprised me! One kindergarten student correctly knew the difference in nocturnal (awake at night) and diurnal (awake during the day). For Abayomi, the Brazilian scientists are still working to create wildlife corridors that will enable them to live in the urban landscape. Students understood that easily and wondered where there were corridors in their own city. Plastic pollution, which endangers seabirds, was a source of surprise. Students were amazed that the most common piece of plastic found in a bird’s stomach was toothbrushes and cigarette lighters.
Watch this video to understand plastic pollution in the Pacific Island – 15 minutes of CNN report on 11/30/16:
If you can’t see this video, click here. Some scenes may be upsetting to young children.
This 2009 BBC video is shorter and just shows the plastics found on Midway Island laid out in categories. More appropriate for younger children.
If you can’t see this video, click here.
This year, $150 was donated to the Florida Wildlife Corridor in honor of the students and teachers at Thomas Jefferson Elementary, Little Rock, AR.