We are pleased to share this excerpt from Earth 911’s blog Green Earth Book Awards 2023 Winners. Click here to read the full story and discover the winners. We hope that you will be inspired to take one of these books out of your local library!
Children’s books about the environment don’t often get the same mainstream attention as fantasies and literary fiction. The Nature Generation’s annual Green Earth Book Awards help generate valuable book buzz for environmental books aimed at youth. The books they honor inspire youth to grow appreciation, respect, and responsibility for the environment.
Click here to read the full story and discover the winners.
TTF incorporates reading and storytelling into our environmental education programs whenever possible. We know how much people love books, and the serious literacy issues that our communities face. We’re so proud that we have been able to enhance learning opportunities within our watershed (which is really a big outdoor classroom), especially in Tacony Creek Park.
We often bring books to events, and during Covid we created and shared some stories right here! Partners including neighborhood Free Libraries, Read to Succeed, and the Office of Early Childhood of the Philadelphia School District have attended our Block Parties and Music & Arts Festival.
In Tacony Creek Park, we have installed free Little Libraries at various gateways of the park: Hammond & Nedro Baseball Field, Tabor Rd. & Olney Ave., Whitaker Ave. & Loudon St., and at I St. & Ramona Ave. Use our interactive map to find the locations here. The Little Libraries provide critical opportunities for young children to engage with and have access to reading materials. The fact that these are in Tacony Creek Park — surrounded by nature — creates an environment that’s even richer for learning! These libraries were installed in collaboration with Tiny WPA and Read to Succeed Philly. These libraries join the library installed by WHYY in summer 2021, located at I Street & Ramona Avenue in Juniata Park, which was the location for the summer 2021 WHYY Little Library Story Times.
Although we continue to deal with vandalism of these Libraries, we are committed to working with community members to repair and maintain them. Interested in helping? Let us know.
During Summer 2021, we posted Story Trail signs in English and Spanish along the Tacony Creek Park trail of bilingual books including, “I Know the River Loves Me,” “Yo sé que el río me ama” by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Park visitors could receive a free bag of arts and craft supplies, and visit the Frankford Library or Greater Olney Library to get a free copy of the books. This program was sponsored by Fairmount Park Conservancy and was a collaboration between the Tacony Creek Park Keepers, the Philadelphia Free Library, Friends of Frankford Library, Friends of Greater Olney Library, and Olney Recreation Advisory Council. These Story Trails have been placed along the trails during Block Parties and at the 2021 Fall Music & Arts Festival.
We hosted Story Times at the River Alive! Learning Trail during the fall and summer 2022 season as well as during summer 2023. We hosted groups throughout the summer to lead activities such Story Time and Craft Time. Story Time 2023 was led by Ms. Deara from Read By Fourth, who brought free copies of books for the children to read along with her, as well as free books to bring home. After she read the story, we would lead the group in activities such as seed planting! In addition to Story Time, Ms. Daphne, art teacher, led summer camp groups in a nature-themed craft that everyone completed and took home.
To celebrate the end of the Learning Trail program season, on Sunday, November 4, we hosted 50 community members during an afternoon filled with park memories and interactive activities. Author Lissette Norman visited from New York City to read her bilingual book “Plátanos Go With Everything.” This was a huge hit, and everyone left with a copy of her book! Ms. Norman also brought a follow-up activity in which families illustrated their favorite plátanos-based foods. Learn more about this celebration here.