(Originally posted April 23, 2010)

We celebrated Earth Day on Thursday (April 22). If I were a better planner, I probably would have tried to have the “Animal Shelter” story fall on Earth Day. Oh well.

Thursday was also my day to teach art classes at the elementary school. I thought it would be a treat for the students if my lovable pet and Lepus Studios mascot, Noko-Noko, came with me. As you know from reading the “About” page, Noko is my box turtle. I brought him to school so the kids could make turtle-themed art projects out of recycled materials. We also talked about how people protect endangered animals and how students could conserve materials in the classroom. I know, connectig the two ideas is a bit of a stretch, but conservation is an important lesson for young students and I wanted to present it in a memorable way.

Anyway, Noko was on his best behavior. He never escaped from his cage in front of anyone but me, and he only peed on one student (don’t worry, I packed his disinfectant cleaner).

At the end of the day, I think everyone had fun, learned some things, and walked away with some lovely memories. In fact, as I was leaving the building, I could hear the students in the parking lot running to their parents and excitedly announcing, “Mom, Ms. Rishel had a turtle and it peed in class!”

I like to think I made a difference.