KALB's mascot Sparky (aka Leigh Patterson) and I had the pleasure of visiting with students at Our House Day Care in Athens recently. We love to talk with the little ones because they are so impressionable and take our message very seriously.
Our topic this visit was litter. Together we presented the Student Litter Patrol Officer program to the children, and were all invited to be sworn in as litter patrol officers. Sparky was so proud, and the children could not get enough of our mascot! One little boy did not want to leave Sparky's side. He snuck out of his classroom TWICE and tried to peek into the room where Sparky was taken after the class. That was a close call!
We are already scheduled to return to Our House in the spring to present the Talking Tree program. I\t is not too early to schedule a classroom visit for later in the school year.
There are many programs KALB has that are geared toward age groups from preschool to adults. Topics include recycling, litter control, beautification, plastics in our oceans, importance of forests, what's new at KALB, and more. Here is a sample of just a few of the student programs available for the classroom:
Student Litter Patrol Officers: A KALB educator will come to the classroom and explain to the children what littering is and why it is dangerous and harmful to the environment. After the lesson, Sparky comes in and plays the Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down game with them. Once the children understand the danger of litter and recognize it in photos, Sparky and the educator invite them to become Official Student Litter Patrol Officers. In this role, they will help the Chief of Police and the Sheriff by reminding their families and friends that litter is against the law, dangerous, and disrespectful. The students are sworn in and receive a Litter Patrol Officer ID card. A letter is sent home to the children's parents asking that they support their children by showing a good example.
Talking Tree: This lesson is all about the importance of trees. The presenter and the class will discuss the food trees produce, as well as the oxygen, shade, shelter and protection from soil erosion they provide. The role that animals play in spreading seeds and nuts, which create new trees, is also demonstrated. Since trees are necessary to make paper and building supplies, we also talk about recycling and conservation.
The Dangers of Litter: Students are broken into groups and each group is given a bag of "littered" items. As a group, students are asked to rank the items from most dangerous to least dangerous, citing reasons for their decisions. Once this process is complete, the KALB educator leads discussion about what makes each item dangerous. There are no right or wrong answers, but is an exercise in critical thinking about a subject that is usually given little thought.
We are always impressed by the number of comments we receive from parents that tell us the recycling habits in their homes or their littering habits have changed because children have pressured them to "do the right thing".
KALB has speakers and programs available for just about any age group. If you would like to discuss bringing a program to your classroom, or if you would like a speaker for your next meeting or gathering, just call KALB. We would be happy to discuss your needs.
By: Lynne Hart