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THF Youth Preparedness & Wetlands Club at MLK School during Bayou Bienvenue Visit: March 26, 2014
THF Youth Preparedness & Wetlands Club at Dr. King Charter School during Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle field trip in the Lower 9th Ward: March 26, 2014

Team Happy Foundation (THF) utilized a grant from The AWESOME Foundation to inspire and equip the next generation of first responders and environmental engineers with fun literary tools to fuel their imagination!

The THF Preparedness & Wetlands Club at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in the Historic Lower 9th Ward engaged 50 elementary school students (second grade) during the 2014 Spring Semester; providing them with free educational material and nature-based enrichment activities.

Each month during the first quarter of FY2014, 50 students received one new, age-appropriate children’s picture book (paperback) from the Children’s Publishing Division of THF.

The combination of our read-alouds are uniquely and creatively based on the Multiple Lines of Defense Model, which identifies wetlands as our first natural line of defense against storm surge – in conjunction with individual and community preparedness planning.

Students submitted a one-page handwritten book report (4 sentence minimum) and on the back of the same page, illustrated their favorite idea about the story!

The aforementioned assignments enhanced their final journal entry: a 6-step action plan on how they will help their community become more prepared for hurricane season and also, how they will become advocates for the environmental restoration of wetlands in Southeast Louisiana (3 steps for each concept).

Wednesday, January 15, 1:30-2:30p – 50 students received The Adventures of Happy & Big Wanda.
* Author read, signed and disseminated books; 30mins for each separate class of 25 students.
Wednesday, January 29 – book reports and illustrations were collected and picked up.

Wednesday, February 13, 1:30-2:30p – 50 students received Fearless Delta Fox.
* Hour is spent same as above.
Wednesday, February 27 – book reports and illustrations were collected and picked up.

Wednesday, March 26, 1:30-3:00p – 50 students received Backyard Bayou.
* Students received books at urban wetlands field trip.
Wednesday, March 27 – book reports, illustrations and 6-step action plans were collected/picked up.

The club’s culminating story time and book dissemination took place during a field trip to the Viewing Platform of Bayou Bienvenue’s Wetland Triangle at the corner of Caffin and Florida Avenue on Wednesday, March 26. Students heard from wildlife experts and saw firsthand many of the lessons highlighted throughout the signature suite of books. Before departing campus for the field trip, students watched a 20 minute documentary titled Bayou Sundance produced by The L9 Center for Sustainable Development and Engagement, which focuses on the urban bayou in the city’s backyard!

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