Author Marianne Berkes, who scribes children’s nature books, writes about her 2011 Authors for Earth Day experience

Marianne and students at Jupiter Farms Elementary with ocean masks they crafted for the event

The Authors for Earth Day event at Jupiter Farms Elementary School that I participated in, thanks to Sylvan Learning Center, empowered kids to help care for our earth.

Author visits by Suzy Kline (NY), Dan Gutman (PA), Conrad Storad and Brooke Bessesen (AZ) and me (FL) inspired thousands of students toward smart environmental stewardship. Together we raised money for conservation, bringing the two-year total A4ED contributions to $10,350! (This was the 2nd year for this very worthwhile event.)

The not-for-profit conservation organizations that received donations this year were: Clearwater Environmental Organization, Greenpeace, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Phoenix Zoo Conservation and World Wildlife Fund. If you know where Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is, you’ve figured out which one the terrific kids at Jupiter Farms Elementary voted for.

Busch Wildlife is dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife. It offers the whole family an opportunity not just to see animals but to learn about nature and wildlife. Nature trails lead visitors to wildlife exhibits of native Florida animals. There is also a wildlife hospital designed to take care of sick, injured and orphaned wild animals. Thousands of animals have received care there.

Kudos to everyone who made Authors for Earth Day 2011 possible, especially to Brooke Bessesen who organizes the event every year. Hopefully next year even more “eco-minded” authors and illustrators will donate their time (just one day a year) to visit a school in their area for Authors for Earth Day and give kids “a voice” to help care for our planet.

Marianne Berkes is the author of several children’s books, including Over in the Ocean and Marsh Music. Her newest title Animalogy will be released August 2011. Learn more about Marianne and all of her books visit

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