Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Win-Win Environmental Program

When you pair a green author with a green school, what do you get?

A fabulous environmental program that everyone goes away enthusiastic about. Author Bonnie J. Doerr headed to the Florida Keys recently for a book launch for her second book, Stakeout, combined with a research trip for her third book on endangered pelicans. Along the way she stopped at St. Stephens Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Ms. Doerr came prepared to discuss her book, Island Sting, about the Florida Key deer. She found students who not only knew all about these deer that are the size of a German shepherd, but the fifth graders will visit Sea Camp on Big Pine Key, Florida, the island setting for both Island Sting and Stakeout. Ms. Doerr shared her research about wildlife they may see at Sea Camp’s Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. The students and teachers were excited about the program, and the school librarian described Island Sting as a fun read and a perfect extension to the Sea Camp curriculum.

In third grade, eager students worked on creating picture books. Ms. Doerr enjoyed herself as much as the children. But what impressed her most was the emphasis St. Stephens places on green education. As part of their daily pledge, the students promise to care for the Earth and to recycle, conserve energy, and save water. One of Bonnie Doerr’s greatest joys is spreading the word about caring for the environment, and at St. Stephen’s she found kindred spirits.

For teachers eager to learn more about ways to use these books in the classroom, Bonnie Doerr will be presenting at the North Carolina Reading Association conference next week.

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