Classroom Animals and Pets - "Green" Thoughts

No discussion of "animals in education" is complete without also looking at "environmental education".

EcoNet: a decade of support for ecological sustainability and environmental justice.
Mission Statement (as per IGC): EcoNet serves individuals and organizations working for environmental preservation and sustainability. Important issues covered include: environmental justice, global warming, energy policy, rainforest preservation, legislative activities, water quality, toxics and environmental education.

Environmental Education on the Internet
Mission Statement: Consistent with the key principles of environmental education, our mission is to spread information and ideas that will help educators explore the environment and investigate current issues with students. We are building this resource for students, teachers and professionals that support K-12 environmental education, such as media specialists, inservice providers, nature center staff and curriculum developers.

Evergreen Foundation Program (Canada)
The Evergreen Foundation supports schools and communities through access to information, help with implementation planning, and through actual grants as well. Their web site shows the positive results of their work, which extends right across Canada. Mission Statement: Dedicated to reconnecting people with nature through the enhancement of healthy natural areas on school ground and in communities across Canada, making them healthier places to live, learn, work and play...

Rainforest Action Network
Mission Statement: Rainforest Action Network works to protect the Earth's rainforests
and support the rights of their inhabitants through education,
grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action.
This network also has a search station for finding the RAGs (Rainforest Action Groups) in your own area.

S.E.E.D.S. Program (Canada)
Society for Energy & Environment Development Studies Foundation
This is a great program for schools, and it is constantly adding new activities. I am the contact person for our school and we are presently working our way to becoming a "Jade School" (250 environmental projects completed). My class also participates in the Green Glove Challenge (gardening and planting) held in April, and the B.I.T. Challenge (Bird Identification Tally) held in May. These are fun and definitely worth the effort to write them up to earn your certificate and stickers! This year we additionally got the whole school going by arranging a school wide bird identification "counting" contest in the library. Those ballots came in fast and furious! Next year we might try some more of the other excellent monthly challenges. They look very intriguing (heat challenge, art challenge etc.) and can be done at school or home! S.E.E.D.S. has even added some excellent on-line activities as well as some photocopyable language arts follow-ups and contests!
Mission Statement: The SEEDS Foundation is a federally chartered not-for-profit organization whose mandate is: "to work toward the development of a society which understands and is committed to actions leading to the wise stewardship of resources, resource use and the environment."

Wild Inside Nature Programs (Canada)
This is a fantastic Web site which offers ideas, activities, resources, and access to guided nature programs. On top of it all, its creator, Donna Hill, is a super resource person who can also be booked for workshops! She is always "in the know" and is an active part of EEPSA. The materials she has written to accompany or supplement field trips are worthwhile and inexpensive too!
Mission Statement: Wild Inside Nature Programs, established in 1991, is dedicated to supporting anyone who wants to teach or learn about nature in their own region (teachers, home educators, group leaders, parents and the children they work with, nature centers, consultants, nature contractors, Professional Heritage Interpreters).

Other Environmental Programs... (contributions needed!)

Check out Donna Hill's list of Environmental Links on her Wild Inside Nature Web site:

There is a long list of Links on the EcoNet Web site.

Environmentalist - Dictionary Definition

The 1989 World Book Dictionary definition of an environmentalist is:

1. a person concerned with problems of the environment and especially with the effects of uncontrolled pollution on the earth's atmosphere: Some environmentalists reject all of modern technology and call for a return to a simple, pastoral life free of fumes, artificial chemicals and any noise but the chirping of birds and the croaking of frogs (Science News).
2. an advocate or supporter of environmentalism: Sometimes it seems as if any single life were no more than a leaf borne along by whatever stream it happened to fall upon, and such was the argument off the environmentalists in their heyday (Harper’s).
3. an artist who creates environmental art: Other environmentalists see their works as means to engage the viewer in a new kind of emotional release... “People become part of the art object” (Tony) Martin explains (Time).

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