Puppets Involve Students in Environmental Stewardship
Puppets are a great way to engage people in learning about our water and how to keep it clean. BEAT has teamed up with Dr. Augies under a grant from the Berkshire Environmental Endowment, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, to bring fantastic puppet theater to area schools.
Here is what Dr. Augie had to say about the first show:
“Our first show was a blast! We had over 50 kids join us to learn about water and the environment and why we need to keep our water clean. These kids at St. Agnes School know their environmental science stuff too. A big thank you goes out to Berkshire Taconic for funding and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Pittsfield Department of Public Services for helping with the curriculum and last but not least, Berkshire Community College Student John Brancazzu for his environmental expertise and playing the part of ‘water drop’.”
BEAT and Dr. Augies are working with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the City of Pittsfield’s Department of Public Services, and with a student from Berkshire Community College’s Environmental Sciences Department to create fantastic puppet shows focusing on water quality and what people can do to protect water quality in their community. Dr. Augie is bringing his theater to elementary school children in the Berkshire County Schools, focusing on Central Berkshire, Lanesborough and Pittsfield which are part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) community.
Through these puppet shows students will learn the importance of environmental issues that impact their lives. By teaching many facets of environmental science through theater we aim to create a more informed, educated, and concerned community of enthusiastic learners, who will in turn go home and inform their parents and family members. These shows are extensions of the current classroom curriculum and align with the Massachusetts State Frameworks.
Throughout history cultures around the world have used puppets as a means of public education. Here we will use stories featuring animals, for which children hold a natural fascination and empathy, to develop affection and concern for the natural environment here in Berkshire County.