“Don't underestimate them and their ability to act. Always emphasise your child's ability to make a difference.” – Clea Le Loux
Central Coast based primary teacher and mother of three, Clea, was recently inspired by her daughter’s compassion and care for the world around her, supporting her to take action. When four year-old, Savvy, saw images of an injured sea turtle that had a plastic straw stuck in its nose, she immediately asked what she could do to help the turtles. Clea suggested that they could pick up rubbish to clean up the beaches and reduce the risk of all marine animals getting hurt, and Savvy agreed that this was a wonderful idea.
Clea says, “We talked about being safe when picking up rubbish, as we didn't know what we would find, by using gloves. She suggested she use her gloves she uses in the garden with her dad which were perfect.” With the right safety gear ready, and Savvy’s three year-old sister, Audrey, eager to help too, the trio decided that Terrigal Beach would be the ideal spot for a local clean up. Home to a wide variety of bird and marine life, Terrigal Beach offers sanctuary to many sea and land animals. However, as a popular tourist location that draws in hoards of beach-goers, anglers, scuba divers and sightseers, the beach and surrounding areas can quickly become polluted with debris.
At the beach, the girls were closely monitored to make sure that they weren’t picking up anything that could hurt them like glass or sharp objects, which are best to leave for adult Eco Bugs to clean up carefully. Savvy was so proud of herself and didn't want to leave until her bag was full. “She wants to go back and do it again,” says Clea. Savvy has always said she wants to be an artist when she grows up and after her 'mission' she said, "Mum, I don't just want to be an artist anymore when I grow up, I want to help save animals as well."
Savvy has a very special message to share after her experience. She says, “Don't leave your rubbish behind because it can hurt sea animals.” This certainly is a testament to the importance of raising awareness and empowering children to channel their natural curiosity and empathy into taking action in the local community. Parents and teachers play such an important part in the development of more sustainable futures. Clea offers inspiring advice for role models who are looking to empower our next generations:
“I think its important for parents to take an active role in educating children from the very beginning about the different ways we can create a greener future. Whether it be cleaning up our beaches, planting a tree or a veggie patch, recycling or using enviro-bags to shop with, everything you do should be discussed with your kids so they understand why you are doing it. Don't underestimate them and their ability to act. Always emphasise your child's ability to make a difference. There are lots of fun and exciting activities you can do to encourage your child to appreciate their environment.”
Local organisation, Take 3, at take3.org.au promotes a powerful message: ‘Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or... anywhere and you have made a difference.’ The Take 3 concept is so powerful because of its simplicity – it’s something we can all do to keep our oceans and waterways safe and clean. It’s a concept that children can quickly embrace so that they can feel empowered to play their part in creating a greener future.
Ladybug Academy’s Eco Bug programs aim to inspire preschool and primary aged children to contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. We cover a broad range of sustainability areas, including:
The Three R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Looking after our oceans
Looking after our animal friends
Composting and creepy crawlies
Energy sources - the sun, wind and water
To find out more, visit www.ladybugacademy.com
What are you doing in your classroom, home or local community to make a difference? Would you like to find out how you can join our team? We’d love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org
All Ladybug Academy edutainment programs are designed and created by Angela Andonopoulos (BA. DipEd. MA, PhD candidate) in partnership with other educational leaders. Angela’s role as Founder and Creative Director at Ladybug Academy was shaped by her enthusiasm for bringing awareness to crucial issues of social consciousness and personal wellbeing for children.