WESTON, Conn. – Children’s author Christine Pakkala of Westport will visit Weston Intermediate School on Thursday, April 23, to kick off a beautification initiative and “Going Green” contest.
With Earth Day approaching on April 22, fifth-graders at the school are beautifying their surroundings and leaving their legacy via a certified wildlife habitat for birds at the “Outdoor Learning Space” (part of the courtyard) near the school’s Learning Resource Center.
The fifth-grade students will plant grass and hang birdhouses when Pakkala returns for a visit.
This is just one installment of many planned for the Outdoor Learning Space. Future projects include a mineral dig station and a sundial. The space also has a small “circle in the round” for performances. There are also tables and chairs for quiet learning activities or chess.
Funding for the Outdoor Learning Space was made possible by Parent-Teacher Organization’s Philanthropy funds. Pakkala visited WIS in early December to enhance the English curriculum with her school-wide presentation, “How an Idea Becomes a Book.”
Her first book, “Last-But-Not-Least Lola: Going Green” was the series’ launch title, which has since won the 2014 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, starred reviews and widespread critical acclaim.
When Pakkala returns to Weston Intermediate School on April 23, her visit will not only kick off the “Leave Your Legacy” initiative, but also a contest in which classes will develop and compete for the best an eco-friendly project.
Pakkala will share “save the planet” tips from her book and brainstorm with the student body on practical ways to lower their carbon imprint and enhance school surroundings in the present, near future and beyond.
Class ideas will then be submitted to the administration for judging and the winning class from each grade will be awarded extra time at recess.
Pakkala and her husband, attorney and author, Cameron Stracher, moved to Westport with their two children in 2001 from New York City, where she’d been a seventh and ninth grade English Teacher at Horace Mann School in Riverdale.
Once in Connecticut, Pakkala’s interest in writing for children took root when she began writing stories for her son’s kindergarten class.
Details on the author and her books can be found at www.christinepakkala.com .
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