Aged 9, Severn Suzuki founded the Children’s Environmental Organisation. In 1992, long before Greta Thunberg, aged 12, she and three friends raised the money to travel from Canada to speak at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, to fight for their future and give a young person’s perspective on environmental issues. In 1993, she was honoured in the United Nation’s Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour. Sill fighting for the environment, she is now also a speaker, television host and author.
9-year old Katie Stagliano brought home a tiny cabbage seedling as part of a school project, and tended it so well it became an enormous 40lb cabbage! She donated it to a soup kitchen where it fed 275 people. Katie decided to start vegetable gardens so that she could donate the produce to help people in need. Katie’s Krops now has 100 gardens across the US, helping feed people in need.
Another poem for EmpathyDay! I have permission to post another poem from our forthcoming collection of mental health poems for primary school age – Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Otter-Barry Books, by me, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha.
Helen Keller lost both her sight and hearing as a baby. She became very frustrated as a child, living in silence and darkness until her family employed Anne Sullivan. Despite being partially blind herself, she cleverly found ways to help Helen communicate. Anne was Helen’s teacher, support and companion for the next 49 years until she died – by then, she had enabled Helen get to college, learn to type, speak, get married, tackle social and political issues, including women’s suffrage, and write a book.
Today it’s empathy day! I have permission to post this poem from a forthcoming collection of mental health poems for primary school age – Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Otter-Barry Books, by me, Matt Goodfellow and Laura Mucha. This is just a placeholder image – we have a fabulous illustrator on board!
Regular readers may have noticed an addition to the side bar of Poetry Roundabout – wonderful Philip Ardagh has been appointed Ambassador of the School Libraries Group. School libraries are ESSENTIAL, so I am thrilled to be able to display this image to say so.
Three in ten children in the UK do not own a book. Being able to read is the foundation of all eduction – every subject relies on this ability.
But it’s not just about being the basis for basic or academic learning – neuroscientists have found that reading fiction (and poetry!) lights up the same areas in the brain that real life does. Wait, what? Yes! Reading can give your child the benefit of experience they might never get in any other way. Not only are they receiving information about other places to live and ways of living, other ways of looking at life, facts about a myriad of subjects which may spark an interest in areas you could not have predicted, it places them literally into another person’s shoes, and thus fosters empathy.
Being able to understand how another person is feeling and react appropriately gives you the ability to lead a happy and successful life at work and home. Access to a library is the very best thing we can do for our children and their futures. And it’s achievable.