Teaching Children Methods for Healing the Planet Earth

Article excerpt

Lead-based paints, car exhaust, pesticides, aerosol cans and refining oil are among the contaminants contributing to humankind's destruction of itself and the surrounding environment.

Our salvation will not come from older generations set in their ways, but through children who have energy, desire and the realization that they must preserve their planet. The Academy for Educational Development has set up a Web site to enable youngsters to make a difference with a wide variety of projects to make the world a much healthier place in which to live.

PLANETREPAIR.ORG

SITE ADDRESS: www.planetrepair.org

CREATOR: PlanetRepair.org was created through a cooperative agreement between the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and the Office of Children's Health Protection at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Founded in 1961, the AED is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to solving critical problems involving health, education, youth development and the environment.

CREATOR QUOTABLE: "PlanetRepair.org was created to help youth groups tackle environmental health issues," says Amy Lane, marketing and communications specialist for PlanetRepair.org.

"We believe that youth-driven initiatives can often lead to the greatest change in our communities. With this site, youth leaders can find activities that will empower young people to do something about environmental issues that have a direct impact on kids' lives."

WORD FROM THE WEBWISE: PlanetRepair.org exists to inspire activism in healing Earth's wounded ecosystems. Through 21 activities, students in elementary grades through high school can tackle problems ranging from lead-paint dangers in homes to contamination of a beach.

The site has four main sections: "Saving Water Resources," "Beach, Sun and Sand," "Attacking Air Pollution" and "Chemical Exposure." Each leads to a list of activities, success stories and helpful tools to complete a project. Each undertaking lays out precisely "The Basic Plan," "Age Group," "Number of Participants," "Time," "Resources," "Cost" and links to "More Information."

For example, students starting in "Saving Water Resources" will find ways to conserve life's precious fluid with strategies such as using runoff-resistant landscaping. Considering that melted snow and rain runoff, taken together, are the single largest cause of water pollution in the United States, this project could provide a real impact.

The page shows students in middle and high school grades ways to curb this problem with some donated resources. Step-by-step instructions explain how shrubs or trees planted in runoff zones not only will act as sponges in absorbing some of the contaminants, but also will create an attractive environment for others to enjoy. …