• Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

While Alabama proudly bears the title of "The River State," many children within the Coosa River watershed frequently lack the opportunity to acquire a deep understanding of their natural surroundings and the environmental impact they collectively exert on the water we rely on for drinking, transportation, and recreation. This issue is not exclusive to Alabama's children but extends beyond state lines, becoming even more apparent due to the role of COVID-19 in exacerbating a deficiency in nature exposure. This, in turn, contributes to what many experts are identifying as a "national mental health crisis." Our aim is to address this challenge by reintroducing children to the great outdoors, allowing them to learn about nature while immersed in the natural environment.

Our Plan

C.R.E.E.K. (Coosa River Environmental Education for Kids) aims to provide children in Alabama with a comprehensive education about the state's waterways and the surrounding natural environment. Although Alabama is renowned as "The River State," many young residents may not be aware of this distinction. Through our educational efforts, we aim to empower children with knowledge about the rivers and land that shape their surroundings. By doing so, we hope to nurture a sense of responsibility for the environment, equipping them with the tools to connect with nature for their own well-being and contribute to its preservation. Our success is gauged by several key metrics, including the number of children we educate, the distribution of fishing rods to families in need, and the extent to which people become acquainted with Coosa Riverkeeper and the invaluable services we offer. These services address fundamental questions about water safety, fish consumption, and the Coosa River's impact on local communities and the broader economy.

Themes Addressed

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    Clean Water
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    Social Justice

The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

The project went great! We were able to give out free coloring books at our free fishing clinics, in-school programming, and outreach events. The kids seemed to enjoy using the book and were able to learn about the Coosa through it!

Through this project I/we learned:

The project taught us that more parents are looking for free educational books like coloring books for their kids than we originally anticipated.

What I/we might change:

We would create a more diverse selection of coloring books for kids to choose from. Right now we have three different types of coloring books, we wish to expand to have more offerings in the future.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Seeing kids learn about the Coosa River and the environment through coloring in their books at their own pace with their family and contemporaries.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Always be open to trying new things when it comes to coloring books. Many kids have short attention spans, so be tactical about when you decide to implement the use of coloring books in indoor or outdoor learning areas.

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

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