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Story Empowers Young Stewards for the Oceans

Blue Life Choices, Schools, Solution Strategies No comments
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Driving past the playing fields at our local middle school when it’s overrun by hundreds of high energy kids I can’t help but think of the genius, ideas, perspective and hope within that mob. Until you have spent some time with that age group you might not recognize the potential they have for making an enormous difference for our environment, for our oceans. When I bring THE QUEST FOR BLUE PLANET SUPER HEROES book to a school the kids do not immediately sit quietly and absorb my “wisdom.” (Featured Photo Credit: “Gentle Giants”François Baelen / 2018 Ocean Art Contest)

First and foremost, I need to listen. So I begin with questions that draw out their concerns for the environment and the future. I learn what talents they are most proud of. I hear them discuss what a “super hero” is and which one they might like to emulate. THEN, and only then, it is time to read aloud from Kate Buffett and the Deep Blue Sea. That title is the chapter book embedded in THE QUEST FOR BLUE PLANET SUPER HEROES. I read chapter one, “A Whale of a Tale” – and then we talk about it.

Finally, the group is ready to hear that there is a 4-week guided journal writing section at the end of the book. Originally I had created simply The Blue Life Journal for Kids.  Hours and hours with young people age 9-12 convinced me that presenting the journal without an engaging story full of compelling characters was not going to connect with the kids.

Journal writing creates a powerful personal story

BUT once they were engaged and felt a connection with the characters in the story they were eager to begin their 4-week practice of journal writing. Each week I meet with a group and we discuss their responses from the week before. This is the beauty of having THE QUEST FOR BLUE PLANET SUPER HEROES at home. Families can come together for that sort of discussion and suddenly the impact of one child’s journal writing and habit change expands.

Often, once a young person reads a book it goes on the shelf and is soon forgotten. Our goal is to keep the “Blue Life” alive. We know that kids are mobile and always looking at their screens. For those reasons the story of Kate Buffett and the Deep Blue Sea continues online. Each month we identify a young person that has inspired a new twist to the story. We add a new chapter each month. Our goal is to create a cast of characters with diverse interests, aptitudes and personalities so that the reader can always find one that feels like a friend – or like themselves. (See the CAST OF CHARACTERS here). 

Through the fiction story within the chapter book a young person can feel a spark of inspiration to do something in their own community. They might explore a place they love and imagine a way they can make a difference. They might join an environmental club or volunteer with a community group. Puzzling a challenge – who knows – they may be the next inventor to innovate a solution for the future.

How can you help? You can SPONSOR a class. You can gift a young person their own copy of THE QUEST FOR BLUE PLANET SUPER HEROES.

If you know a young person we should feature on our SUPER HERO  page, just let us know on the CONTACT FORM. It is beyond amazing and inspiring to recognize what a young person is capable of – and it all adds up for our future – for the future we all will share.

About Judy Shasek

Judy has an MS degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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