Coronavirus COVID-19 Outreach Materials Here

It is pretty obvious that an eighth grader and a first grader have much different needs when it comes to education, so why aren’t utilities making this distinction when producing kids outreach materials? Stormwater utilities across the country are including include kids in their outreach efforts, and much of the material tends to focus on 4th-8th grade. This makes perfect sense because in about 4th grade, kids are ready to start grasping concepts related to cause and effect as it relates to stormwater pollution; pet waste left here washes into to storm drain over there, pollution enters waterways down there, wildlife affected, here is how I can help.

Though stormwater utilities are doing a great job including kids in their education programs, there is one opportunity that is often overlooked, 1st through 3rd graders. Setting the stage for future discussions that include pollution and water quality are vital. These young elementary school kids need to first understand the role water plays in our life, before they can begin to understand how pollution gets into the water, how our actions effect water quality, and how we can all become the solution to pollution.

The City of El Centro, California decided to address the issue in their jurisdiction by developing two kids’ activity booklets, one for 1st-3rd graders and one for 4th-5th graders. They both address stormwater and drought issues, are fun, colorful and engaging, but they each approach the issues from an age-appropriate point of view to make the greatest impact.

The 1st-3rd grade booklet:

  • Introduces water as a vital resource for life
  • Shows how we are connected to waterways through storm drains
  • Provides basic pollution concepts
  • Includes a variety of simple, fun and engaging games and activities

The 4th-5th grade booklet:

  • Introduces water as a vital resource for life
  • Shows how we are connected to waterways through storm drains
  • Provides more in depth discussion about pollution sources
  • Empowers students to become part of the solution in their own neighborhood
  • Includes a variety of fun and engaging games and activities

 

Sample children cartoon illustration