I want to take a minute on this Earth Day 2009 to acknowledge the efforts of elementary educators (everywhere, really, but particularly those under whose influence my children fortunately fall) in whom I've seen a commendable dedication to spreading the word about sustainability, recycling, respect for the earth and all the elements that will enrich their imaginations and spur them to green living, thinking and action.
You may even recall this March 13th Metro Green post about Project Rescue, a "play" my 3rd-grade daughter's combined classes staged.
The image above is the cover of an elementary education news publication produced by Time, Inc. called "Time For Kids. This week's issue, titled "Green Schools," features articles on resource conservation (particularly water and electricity), trash recycling, photo-voltaics and solar collection, and even a charming little piece on composting, which, for the benefit of the first-graders, exaggerates the "ewww!" factor by describing how "worm poop is mixed with soil."
On the back a little "test" challenges kids to study a schoolyard illustration and then circle all the "Earth-smart choices" they see and "X" all the things they see that should be changed.
My son and I went over it together and he was sufficiently inspired to urge us to observe another Earth Hour tonight before bed. So we did, thoroughly revisiting the camaraderie we had shared on March 28th when we'd offed all the lights and snuggled together outside looking at the stars and talking about what it means to be kind to Mother Earth.
Tonight before bed we read together a poem called "Mother Earth Needs Your Help" by Tonda Rae Nalle that my son's first-grade teacher had sent home in his backpack:
Our world is a large and beautiful place,Admittedly, not Shakespeare, but a lovely little message to send home with the kids as the effects and the effectiveness of each progressive Earth Day become more and more critical to the health of the planet and to the quality of our lives on it.
But soon we will run out of space
For all our litter trash and cans.
So let's start now and lend our hands
To clean up our roadsides, parks, and streams.
It's not as impossible as it seems.
Our world will remain a beautiful place
And future generations won't run out of space.
Recycling is a lesson learned
From Mother Nature, who in turn,
Will teach us if we only try
To recycle the things we use and buy.
If we all work hard and do our share
Our world will survive because we care.