to these stewards of literacy and landscape
The A4ED effort would not be where it is today without the environmental spirit of some very generous people and we want to express our appreciation.
2014. Two bright and talented authors, Yolanda Ridge and Patricia Newman took on the co-directorship of our popular Eco-Book of the Month listings on Facebook and helped make important decisions about our coalition's future as members of our A4ED Guiding Committee, which helped our program expand to year-round participation.
2013. Both Rocco Staino from School Library Journal and Sally Lodge from Publishers Weekly wrote fantastic (and much appreciated) articles about Authors for Earth Day!. We also want to thank a member of our coalition, Linda Bozzo, for her determination to contribute this year in honor of Authors for Earth Day. Linda could not schedule an April school visit so she got creative—she decided to donate all the proceeds from her book sales at the Author Fair at Roseland Public Library in NJ (a total of $100) to a conservation organization
as selected by her buyers (New Jersey Audubon Society won). While it was not an official A4ED event, we believe Linda deserves recognition for her dedication to our mission of "supporting conservation through literacy."
2012. Lin Oliver is the distinguished author of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk? series, Henry Winkler's co-author on the Hank Zipzer series and a respected television executive. After giving a (no doubt, funny) talk that April, she donated 50% of her speaking fee to Heal the Bay in honor of Authors for Earth Day. Lin and her SCBWI co-founder, author Stephen Mooser, also gave Authors for Earth Day a presence at the 2012 summer conference, a special chance to connect with our colleagues.
2011. After handing over the personal emails of America's top children's authors (saying, "How mad could they get?"), Dan Gutman, renowned author of over 150 kid's books himself, including The Genius Files and My Weird School series, joined the A4ED team. He has participated every year since, consistently donating his full speaking fee—$2,000. He even inspired the students at one school to raise additional funds for donation! Dan has proven our strongest and most steadfast advocate, a true environmentalist and a trusted friend.
2010. Our first year was a success, thanks to the commitment of several pioneering (and prestigious) authors. Bruce Hale, author of the popular Chet Gecko and Underwhere series, Debbie Dadey, who scribes the Adventures of the Bailey School Kid and Mermaid Tales series, Nancy Castaldo, known for her many popular nature titles and Barb Gowan (see 2008), lead the team to raise over $5000! Author Suzy Kline of the celebrated Horrible Harry and Herbie Jones series had a school cancelation, but participated the following year.
2009. Newbery author Jerry Spinelli and his wife, author and poet Eileen Spinelli seldom do school visits these days, yet they wanted to help launch our endeavor. After some reflection, the couple made a generous contribution to Bat Conservation International in honor of Authors for Earth Day. I do have a soft spot for bats these days. We spend summers in Chautauqua, NY, where there are lots of bats and no mosquito bites. Bats are honored as the community "bird," wrote Jerry. Jerry won the Newbery Medal for his teen novel Maniac Magee and later earned a Newbery Honor for Wringer. Eileen has written dozens of children's books, garnering an extensive list of awards.
2008. In the earliest phase of imagining, three Arizona authors were asked for their feedback the Authors for Earth idea: Jennifer Ward, author of There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea and many other titles, Barbara Gowan, writer of several ABC desert books for Sleeping Bear Press, and Conrad Storad, who has authored over 40 nature and science books for kids. Their encouragement, logistical assistance and eventual participation formed the backbone of the A4ED program.