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Teach your kids the value of nature

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Tips to connect with nature

Kids who are constantly engaged in gaming, texting and television often have little connection or appreciation for nature because their daily lives revolve around technology and not the outdoors. Fostering an appreciation of nature in our kids is a crucial component to ensuring the welfare of the environment and wildlife. We talked to Jay Holcomb, director emeritus of International Bird Rescue, about his involvement in the newly launched Junior Wildlife Champions program for kids and how parents can teach their kids the value of nature.

Little boy holding frog

Get your kids involved in Junior Wildlife Champions

The Junior Wildlife Champions program is a program dedicated to help educate future generations on the importance of saving wildlife. It is part of Dawn's Help Save Wildlife platform. For more than 30 years, Procter & Gamble's Dawn brand has been helping save birds and marine wildlife from both natural and man-made disasters. The Junior Wildlife Champions education and activity program asks teachers and parents to help Dawn engage 1 million elementary-school-age children between now and the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, teaching them the value of wildlife and the importance of conservation.

"We've been experiencing an ecology movement over the past few decades that has resulted in a change in consciousness," says Holcomb. "All animals, all nature and all people have a right to life. The Junior Wildlife Champions curriculum teaches the value of life and our responsibility for it. We've focused on kids because they are the most open-minded and can make a difference in the future."

Teach your kids the significance of wildlife and the environment

Nature experiment

Holcomb is thrilled to see the movement proactively encourage all Americans, at every age, to care about the environment. "As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill and 40th anniversary of Bird Rescue, the Junior Wildlife Champions program is especially timely for parents and teachers to marry current events with education."

In conjunction with its long-standing partners, International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center, Dawn collaborated with Discovery Education, the leading provider of high-quality curriculum-based digital content, whose services are available in more than half of US schools. Together, they help provide teachers and families with new in-class lesson plans, which can also be used by homeschoolers, and at-home activities that teach youths and encourage them to explore environmental issues and get involved in their own ways.

The Junior Wildlife Champions has three lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Investigate Oil Spills – Students learn about how oil and water interact and the impacts oil spills have on the environment.
  • Lesson 2: Discover Wildlife Rehabilitation – Students participate in hands-on activities to learn about the impact oil spills have on wildlife and get to follow one animal's journey of rehabilitation and release.
  • Lesson 3: Save the Wildlife – Students explore their responsibility for wildlife's welfare and create an action plan to help wildlife in their own community.

You can learn more at www.Facebook.com/DawnSavesWildlife, where you can download the lesson plans.

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