World Book Night, Supreme Court Decision On Affirmative Action, Talking With Kids About Climate Change

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On April 23rd members of communities around the world give away half a million free books as part of World Book Night. Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett hear how the holiday is celebrated. Then they get advice on how to talk to kids about climate change and discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in higher education.

Featured in this Show

  • Educator Offers Advice For Talking With Children About Climate Change

    Even for an adult, absorbing the seemingly steady stream of troubling news about global climate change can be difficult. For children, however, the news can be harder to absorb, if not downright scary.

    Brenna Holzhauer, the director of exhibits and digital curricula at Madison’s Aldo Leopold Nature Center, said her day-to-day work involves educating children about the environment and helping them to forge a lasting connection with nature.

    lt’s really important to think about … the fact that they can’t process all that fear and anxiety, and so we need to approach things a little bit diferenty when we talk with them,” said Holzhauer.

    It might be tempting to lay all the harsh realities on the table — from the possible extinction of polar bears to the likelihood of more frequent severe weather, but Holzhauer said it’s really important to “focus on the positive with kids and the solutions that they can do.”

    Taking actions can help children feel in control, according to Holzhauer. She suggests things families can do together, like changing lightbulbs and turning off lights when one leaves a room.

    But more than actions, parents need to explain why they’re doing what they’re doing and why it matters to the planet. Other activties that can help children feel like they’re working toward a solution: Plant a garden, think about into installing solar panels, get children involved in school with environmental clubs or making changes in the cafeteria.

    Involving technology in the the process can also be helpful, said Holzhauer, who suggests things like citizen science projects and apps that connection children and their families to the larger world.

    Don’t be afraid to start the conversation, said Holzhauer.

    “It’s a really complicated, complex topic and the best thing you can do is to keep building on it as kids get older,” she said.

  • Celebrating Books Around The World

    Publishers, booksellers, librarians, and authors are getting together on World Book Night to encourage the love of reading. The US organizer of the event shares the details.

  • Teach Me What You Know: Talking To Your Kids About Climate Change

    On today’s Teach Me What You Know, our guest shares her insights about how to talk with your children about one of the more challenging topics of our time: climate change.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer
  • Bill McKibben Guest
  • Carl Lennertz Guest
  • Brenna Holzhauer Guest