(NAPSI)—Remember the Lorax, who spoke for the trees? Dr. Seuss’ tale laid important groundwork by encouraging the next generation to care about the environment. As Seuss wrote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Regardless of age or ability, students who care “a whole awful lot” can become some of bees’ best advocates.
With pollinators facing challenges including a lack of forage (food) that provides them with proper nutrition and habitat, we have a great opportunity to empower the next generation to “speak for the bees” and give them the tools to help.
Impact Beyond the Classroom
When kindergartners at The Orchard School in Indianapolis learned they wouldn’t have chocolate without pollinators, what began as a snack time discussion led to a burning desire to help. Their curriculum model allowed students to work together to plant and maintain a pollinator-attractant garden, which more than 15 species visit regularly. To further this student-driven impact, the school applied for funding through the Bayer Feed a Bee program, which provides grants to create forage areas to feed bees and other pollinators.
This spring, the grant will fund the renovation of an older butterfly garden, broadening it to serve more pollinators by planting native wildflowers and installing “pocket beds” of annual flower species. Students across grade levels will participate in plant selection, plant rearing and garden design.
“There is nothing more powerful in education than student voice,” wrote Vicky Prusinski, science specialist at The Orchard School. “Funding for this project quite literally allows my students to put their money where their mouths are and do what they passionately feel compelled to do.”
Agriculture-Focused Camp Programs
Gateway to the Arctic Camp outside of Talkeetna, Alaska, also got a Feed a Bee grant to provide hands-on education for young people. The nonprofit teaches campers the significance of serving those in need and the value of hard work through fun activities involving sustainability, farming and environmental stewardship. For years, the camp planted wildflowers to attract pollinators to its 3 acres of gardens, and this summer it will dedicate an entire field as forage for native bees and other pollinators. Campers of all abilities, including those with special needs, can discover the connection between bees and the crops they pollinate. The Feed a Bee program celebrates this program not only because of its commendable mission but because the organization’s grant meant Feed a Bee met its goal of funding forage for pollinators in all 50 states.
Since 2015, Feed a Bee has distributed more than 3 billion wildflower seeds nationwide and provided grants to 163 organizations in efforts to increase forage and, perhaps most importantly, to teach kids the importance of bees.