This syndicated feature article by Terri Schlichenmeyer that appeared in Wisconsin and national news outlets in May 2010.
Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth
Don't you just hate seeing trash on the street? You feel like you have to pick it up because we only have one Earth and you gotta live here too, right? You celebrate Earth Day every year by picking up trash, planting trees and doing what's environmentally good; but Earth Day wasn't just something that happened. Somebody had to start it. In the new book "Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth" by Sheila Terman Cohen, you'll read about one man who had a goal for the Earth.
Gaylord was fascinated by nature at a young age, but when he was 10 years old, Gaylord decided he was interested in politics. Many years later, Gaylord realized his dream and became a U.S. Senator. He never forgot his passion for the outdoors, and while in Washington he decided to act.
Gaylord helped preserve thousands of miles of land for hiking trails. He worked to ban DDT, a chemical that's harmful to the environment. He told anyone who would listen that pollution was bad for the Earth, but it wasn't enough for him.
On April 22, 1970, schools, campuses and organizations around the U.S. celebrated Gaylord Nelson's first Earth Day. More than 20 million people cleaned up, planted trees and learned about helping the Earth. Then, on April 22, 1990, 141 nations around the world celebrated World Earth Day. Gaylord Nelson had reached his goal!
Author Sheila Terman Cohen includes personal stories about Gaylord, and many cultural references that will help kids put Gaylord Nelson's story and his legacy into perspective.
Because of the glossary and helpful footnotes, "Gaylord Nelson: Champion for Our Earth" is a great book for kids fifth through ninth grade.