Authors Join EDN to Promote Environmental Summer Reading for Kids

Authors Join EDN to Promote Environmental Summer Reading for Kids

One of America’s most beloved children’s authors, Dr. Seuss, once said “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” No one knows this better than Brooke Bessesen, Land Wilson, Dr. Michael T. Barbour, and Linda Newbery, the four authors who participated in Earth Day Network’s webinar on the importance of environmental summer reading for young people. They joined Earth Day Network’s education director, Christine Robertson, and associate director of Earth Day, John Maleri.

The webinar conversation took place on June 12, 2013, in association with the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Green Strides Webinar Series. The series provides school communities the tools to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, and engage in effective environmental education.

During the webinar, John and Christine discussed Earth Day Network’s campaign Reading for the Earth TM. The purpose of Reading for the Earth is twofold: to educate youth – particularly those in grades K-8 – about the environment and to inspire them to read books more often. Earth Day Network works with libraries across the country to encourage their young readers to check out books on environmental topics.

Knowing the value of summer reading and the power of young people, Earth Day Network brought together four prominent environmental children’s authors to discuss their work and their environmental ethics.

With her in depth experience visiting with and educating young people, Brooke Bessesen truly understands their almost-innate passion for nature, saying “They are both environmentalists and idealists, so they are just the kind of crusaders we need to combat the challenges of our changing world”.

Similarly, Land Wilson, pointed out that “if we don’t put the importance on education of young people, and if we don’t empower them, we limit ourselves and we limit our potential.”

An “aquatic biologist by occupation, author by choice,” Dr. Michael T. Barbour is able to convey environmental information to adults and children through a scientific lens. He emphasized that his research informs his novels because we have to educate young people about the importance of conservation in order to “improve our overall environment for the next generation.”

Linda Newbery emphasized that stories play a significant role in helping people relate to the environment. “Stories can take you to other places,” she said. “They can make you identify with other people or with animals, and help you realize what a big place the world is and how we’ve got to look after it.”

Earth Day Network is proud to join with these authors to give kids the tools they need to understand their relationship with the natural world and turn their ideas into action. This summer, it can all begin with opening a book.