As part of the undergraduate conference during this year’s Research and Innovation (R&I) week, Bachelor of Education student Samantha Clay (Orillia campus) won a “Special Category” award for participating on panel and sharing the storybook she created and illustrated, titled The Sustainable Squirrel.
Samantha explains that the storybook introduces young readers to the Sustainable Squirrel character, who provides lessons in sustainability to Fashionable Frog, New Toy Turtle, Art Ant, and Water Bottle Walrus.
“The storybook focuses on the idea of commercial over-consumption. The Sustainable Squirrel promotes the concepts of reducing, reusing, and recycling. I envisioned the story as one that could be shared with parents/guardians. Students could come up with their own characters with alliterative names, then follow the repetitive template of the book to identify more sustainable solutions to throwing an item away,” she says.
Samantha was selected by her instructor, Elizabeth Thomas (Curriculum & Instruction in Social Studies - Primary/Junior) to participate on a nine-student panel that focused on sustainability and growth. She adds that it was an honour to be selected and to be able to combine her interests in this project.
“I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and the environment, and the ability to apply my artistic side to this project made it especially exciting.”