Susan uses frogs to teach kids about saving our planet
Frogs Are Green
Ask any child if he—or she—likes frogs and the answer is always YES! When I walk around my neighborhood, I see children with frog umbrellas, boots, and hats—and they can easily imitate the sound of a frog too. Ribbit!
Frogs Are Green
This is why I started Frogs Are Green in 2009—to bring awareness to what’s happening on our planet, especially to the fact that frogs everywhere are disappearing. We give kids the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians, and to express themselves through art.
Even three-year-olds can participate. For the past seven years we've hosted an annual frog-related art contest for children ages 3-17. We've received thousands of entries from more than 32 countries.
Hundreds of Jersey City students enter as well. The winners are selected by a diverse group of judges, and then exhibited in local galleries. In 2015, we showed in three separate spaces, including Jersey City’s City Hall Rotunda.
Frogs Are Green has also made presentations to students in Jersey City schools, discussing frogs’ unique characteristics, showing frog art from children around the world and unusual frogs in photographs, and reading to them about frogs. Some students learn about frogs and amphibians as part of their regular school curriculum. Many already know quite a bit and all are enthusiastic about the topic.
In the warmer weather we set up tables at community events so children can stop by and draw frogs with art supplies we provide. Kids love to create and don’t need much encouragement once engaged. They just need the right guidance from teachers and parents.
Reconnecting Children to Nature
If we want children who live in urban areas to understand why saving frogs is important, we need to bring them to nature. We can't expect children who live in urban environments to care about wildlife when it's something foreign to them. This is why many classrooms have class pets—so children can be directly involved in the health and well-being of animals—but there's nothing better than showing them an animal's true habitat.
Here in Jersey City there are beautiful parks like Liberty State Park, where children can discover everything from frogs to birds, and more, especially if they go with an educator.
Frogs Are Green is about a learning cycle: teachers share knowledge with their students, who bring that knowledge home and share with their parents, who then share with other parents, their kids and on to community leaders.