The 45th anniversary of Earth Day is being celebrated along with Betty and Veronica, famous characters from the Archie & Friends comics. They will be teaching environmental studies.
‘Getting Drastic with Plastic’ by comic book writer/illustrators Batton Lush and Bill Galvin is from issue number 31 of Archie & Friends Digest series. It comes with a five page science teaching guide that is defined by Common Core Standards and especially developed to go along with the anniversary on 22 April.
Archie Comics co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit who is also a former teacher said that the program is designed to provide teachers with a platform that can ignite a discussion in students relating to the environmental impact of plastic and seeking long-term environmental solutions.
“We are unleashing the power of these well-known and loved comic book characters to teach and motivate young people to take positive action,” said Nancy. “Young people today are looking for ways to make a difference and this program shows the way. The text and rich graphics create a stage for students to think creatively, internalise options that make sense to them and provide a classroom setting with an innovational culture to promote and share ideas.”
‘Getting Drastic with Plastic’ starts at Riverdale High School, where Archie’s friend Veronica is inspired into action by a speaker at a school assembly. In the assembly, the ambassador from Rwanda tells of that nation’s program that banned plastic bags throughout Rwanda to help decrease the amount of non-biodegradable and toxic material in the waste stream.
Veronica gets her friend Betty on board to launch a school-wide campaign to make people aware of the many disposable items made with plastic, from water bottles to plastic coffee stirrers. In the process, the girls learn that some responsible companies are now using plastic that is re-usable or even bio-degradable. When Veronica discusses the issue with her father and tells him she’d prefer to live her life without plastic, he adds a humorous solution for his daughter to ponder.
Nancy added, “This project allows our young people to be a part of an important teachable moment that will be a global news topic. Our children already know ‘it’s not my responsibility because I am a child’ does not excuse them from dealing with important issues. They, too, want to be heard on building solutions to our world’s challenges.”
Alongside, there will also be a new teaching guide with scientific and health-related background, classroom and home activities and critical thinking questions.
“Teachers are the leading creators of change that impact efforts to conserve the majesty of our planet,” Nancy said. “It’s through teachers – what they teach and how they teach – that will spur students to be environmental leaders in their communities.”