My mom is waiting for me to write the next ‘great Canadian novel’, which is weird because I’m sure she knows I write for kids. But I’m also pretty sure she doesn’t know why. If she had traveled to Victoria with me last week, she would have seen my inspiration – the enthusiastic Grade one and two students at South Park Family School were as excited to talk to me as I was to meet them!
The teachers and librarian had spent a couple of weeks getting ready for my visit, which helped me connect with the students easily. One class was about halfway through Ospreys in Danger and the other class had just started reading Bats in Trouble in preparation for a bat study. We had lots to talk about!
Some students had questions about characters and Waterton, while others were curious about bats and the science of wind. The photos in my presentation can be a bit graphic – a smiling bat shows a lot of teeth! – but there were no horrified gasps from the students. They nodded in agreement when I described bats as superheroes of the ecosystem, though they were very happy to hear the giant Flying Fox only eats fruit.
These young students are already invested in the environment and as they learn about the creatures and ecosystems around them, their caring and commitment will grow. I’m so happy to see that teachers can use my chapter books to encourage the concept of environmental stewardship and demonstrate the role we play in nurturing, protecting, and defending our environment. Thank you to Kathy for arranging a wonderful, inspirational afternoon!
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, 1968