January 30, 2009
While “Our Class Is Going Green,” a book written and illustrated by kindergarten students from Oak Park Elementary School, has made its way across the country via national book fairs, its message of environmental responsibility is being conveyed worldwide through the Internet as well.
Last month, Carrie J. Boyko featured the book in her popular blog, “Organic Journey Online.”
In her environmentally-focused blog — as part of an entry dated Dec. 16, 2008 — Boyko wrote of the book, “The effort and attitudes of these young kids plays out in the pages, adorably illustrated using things from their recycling bins. This book is a charming introduction to living green, suitable for even the youngest children.”
“Our Class Is Going Green” is a product of Joyce Nickels’ 2007-08 kindergarten class from Oak Park.
The book was entered into last year’s Scholastic Book Fairs’ Kids Are Authors program and eventually won the grand prize in the “Going Green” category.
Written by the 19 students from Nickels’ class with assistance from the instructor as well as Oak Park art teacher Erinn Rakes, the book was featured at Scholastic Book Fairs at more than 100,000 schools across the country last fall. The book — which was created with recycled products — had no trouble catching the eye of Boyko, who is the wife of Scholastic Book Fairs president Alan Boyko.
“If you have a young child on your gift list, I hope you will consider this fun and educational book,” said Boyko in her blog entry. “It is a wonderful thing to support the work of such conscientious youngsters. Thanks much to the children and staff at Oak Park Elementary School for their efforts.”
The young authors, who are now in Debra Wailes’ first-grade class at Oak Park, were invited by Boyko to respond to her blog entry and eagerly did.
The 27 comments on the blog were the most ever received by Boyko. In their comments, the students offered helpful hints to protect the environment and save energy and posed some questions for Boyko as well.
Young author Reed Adams commented, “If you keep things clean, it will help take care of the earth. Never keep your room messy. It will remind you to keep things clean.”
Trey Glover offered some words of wisdom as well.“Instead of throwing things away, use them,” he said in his comment to the blog. “We had some old used wood and then we used it to make a dog house!”
Those interested in reading Boyko’s full blog post (dated Dec. 16, 2008) focused on “Our Class Is Going Green,” as well as the comments from the young authors, can view it at the following link: http://www.organicjourneyonline.blogspot.com/.
From the main page, scroll down toward the bottom of the page and click on the link entitled “Older Posts.” Then, scroll down to the blog entry from Dec. 16, 2008.
“We were most excited to see that other people outside of the school were picking up on this book and being so interested in it,” said Dr. Bobbi Sexson, the Oak Park principal. “It was a great surprise to see it posted on a person’s blog like that, especially one that promotes sound environmental living.
“When people see that children have written a book like this — about taking care of the environment — maybe it will help them think about the things that they can do to help the planet.”
* Article credit to Examiner-Enterprise.