In celebration of Clean Air Day last Wednesday, June 8, Halton Region launched A Farewell to Featherwagons with a public reading by Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville. Jeanne read the story to a group of enthusiastic five and six-year olds, who each received their own autographed copy.
Written by Halton Region Environmental Health Specialist Beckie Jas and illustrated by freelance artist Brandon Koepke, (who both attended the launch), the story is about Biff, a Barn Owl who loves to go to the Great Lake with his brother Tyto and sister Alba-Alba. When their efforts to get there are spoiled by traffic, bad air, and bad storms, the owls begin to think about how their “featherwagon” contributes to air pollution and climate change. They quickly discover a better way to get to the Lake—using their wings to fly.
After listening to the story, two of the children in today’s group were very excited to tell us that they walk to school every day!
The picture book is part of Halton’s Air Quality/Climate Change Health Promotion Program meant to educate the public about the health impacts associated with air quality and climate change, and the actions you can take to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases.
Lots of people helped with the book including experts on air quality, climate change, and physical activity—in addition to a raptor specialist, literacy consultant, and professional illustrator. The book includes supplementary information including facts on Barn Owls, air quality and climate change, in addition to three story-related “seek and find” activities, plus tips on how to make a difference.
Over the next few months, the book, along with a complementary Storytelling Kit, will be provided to public libraries as well as child care centres, schools, and community partners. You can download an electronic version of the book and Storytelling Kit at: www.halton.ca/featherwagons. If you have young children at home, be sure to check out the book and complete an online evaluation to win great prizes!
Thanks to everyone at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre for inviting us in to your Centre. We really enjoyed the tour of your new Stream of Dreams creation and learning about your other efforts to protect our planet! If you would like to learn more about the Farewell to Featherwagons book launch, please click here.