Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Arbor Day!

"Each generation takes the Earth as trustees." - J. Morton Sterling

April 29, 2011 is Arbor Day in the United States. The holiday was started by pioneer, journalist, and nature-lover J. Sterling Morton. He recognized the benefit of trees: shade, natural windbreaks, and erosion prevention. He organized the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day event in 1872. Over 135 years later, we continue to celebrate this important and constructive holiday.

The Arbor Day Foundation has several ideas and suggestions for families, youth groups, and schools to celebrate and contribute to this event. They also have a great web-pamphlet on the history of Arbor Day you can read to kids.

And be sure to check out our extensive list of Kids for Saving Earth Programs for additional activity ideas.

What are your plans for Arbor Day? Let us know in the comments below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is this week, Friday, April 22nd!

Earth Day is a great day to realize what simple things we can do and change in our daily lives to help the Earth. It's also a great day to teach our children the importance of this worldwide holiday, and the importance of taking care of our Earth.

Kids for Saving Earth has many, many materials to help you do just that:

  • The simple eco-activity of having students cleaning their desk can be a good lesson in how to reuse and recycle, while doing some spring cleaning! Clean Your Desk (pdf)
  • Get kids interested in Earth-related research with this simple fact sheet: Earth Facts (and tips) (pdf)
  • Encourage kids to use cloth napkins for a week to save on paper waste with this eco-activity, Use Cloth Napkins Week
  • Teach kids about the importance of cutting down on waste and plastic-usage by telling them about the Great Garbage Patch (pdf), the floating trash "island" in the Pacific Ocean. 
  • The emissions from buses are toxic, and when they idle outside of school, kids inhale them. Get kids to take action by reducing the dangers of idling school buses outside their school. No Idling! (pdf)
  • A great addition to any environmental education curriculum is the Kids for Saving Earth Promise (pdf), a multi-lingual program for kids to promise to keep the Earth "healthy and beautiful."
  • Lastly, to reward kids' Earth-saving efforts, give them a Defender of the Planet Certificate (pdf).
Of course, you can find much, much more on our website, (Click on "Programs" for the complete list.)

Be sure not to let this important Earth holiday go uncelebrated. Take this opportunity to teach a child about protecting the Earth!

And let us know what you're doing for Earth Day! Comment below, reach us via Twitter (@KSEgreenschool), or comment on our Facebook Page!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Simple Spring Activity: Make a Bird Feeder

Since it's finally spring here in Minnesota, we wanted to attract some of the birds to our backyard! We reused some common household containers -- in this case, milk and egg cartons -- added some bird seed, and voilĂ ! A simple and functional bird feeder!

The finished bird feeder (click to enlarge)

By using this KSE Eco-Activity (pdf), or just by searching "egg carton bird feeder" online, you can learn to create a bird feeder in a few simple steps.

We also created a feeder with similar steps using the bottom half of a milk carton. 

Within just one day, the birds had found both feeders. They love them!

It's a great, easy way to reuse old materials and get kids interested in nature in their own backyards.

By the way, does anyone know what kind of bird this is?

Related: Become a KSE Bird Buddy! Click to learn more. (pdf) 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Earth Month is Here! A message from Tessa Hill

April is here -- Earth month has arrived!  Every April I remember how my son Clinton Hill, the 11-year-old founder of Kids for Saving Earth, would smile his crooked smile and say, "Thank goodness for Earth day."  I know if he were alive today,  he would be so happy that Earth Day became a whole month dedicated to inspiring people to do good Earth-works.   Inspiring kids and adults to protect the Earth is why Kids for Saving Earth exists. Hopefully you are taking advantage of our environmental education curriculum.  Please tell other educators about us by forwarding this letter and calendar.

The first thing I suggest you do this month is very easy and will launch your activities for April.  Think of Clint, because most of the words in the Kids for Saving Earth Promise are his.  He was a true Defender of the Planet.  So have your entire school sign the Promise and line your hallways and homes with the Promise form. 

Review the KSE April calendar and determine what will fit into what I know is your very busy schedule.  Look over the Earth Day activity;  I think kids will enjoy it.  Also check out the Earth-saving Earth Day gifts kids can give to their families. There's the easy-to-make I will Save the Earth switch plates. Also give the gift of lower energy costs by buying fluorescent light bulbs at a rate as good as big-box stores but which can help you and KSE earn much-needed funding.  Email KSE to learn how these bulbs can help your school or group.

I so appreciate your Earth-saving efforts with your students.  Please email us, comment here, or reply to us on Twitter or Facebook about what you and your kids are up to this Earth month.  Don't forget to send or email us their Earth-saving art!

P.S. If you know a young environmental Defender of the Planet, nominate your hero for the $2,500  Barron prize.  Click on the link to learn more.

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

KSE Logo