‘Feel Free to Print This Email’ – Empowering the Next Generation

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'Feel Free to Print This Email' - Empowering the Next Generation 1

Over the years, all of us have received emails with a note at the bottom suggesting that you better not print that email, or else! (cue the horror music here)

A bi-product of the false messaging and beliefs that doing so will surely aid in the destruction of our forests. This simple suggestion has contributed to the misunderstanding and misperceptions regarding the realities of how we manage our forests in North America.

So, in effect, you could call this learned behavior.

As a life-long learner yourself, would you say you’re a quick-study or a gotta read it three times to retain it kind of learner?

When you were a kid, didn’t it feel a whole lot easier to learn? 

Not surprising, since kids have more neurons actively creating new connections than adults do, so they can do things like learn to play tennis or memorize the multiplication tables or learn to play video games or fix a computer much more easily than we can. 

Because of this, it makes logical sense for children to be exposed to lots of different things—repeatedly, ideally—to allow those connections to be formed early on, rather than trying to catch up later.

Things like the value and importance of forest stewardship. 

Why should they care? Clean air, food, water, and clothing and housing, to name a few.

And, on top of that, what does this stewardship and forest growth mean for the health of our planet? 

“Over the course of a year, 100 trees can remove 53 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Those same trees can also pull 430 pounds of other pollutants out of the air. This is in addition to the increased biodiversity of flora and fauna that comes with expanding, thriving forest habitat. So yes, removing a tree is good for the planet — when that tree is an American Hardwood. This precious natural resource adds beauty to the world in finished products and represents the ultimate in sustainability.” –Criswell Davis

While people in different age-groups learn differently, most learning occurs in three stages:

  • gaining an initial awareness of a subject
  • acquiring basic knowledge of the subject
  • applying information and knowledge about the subject to a real-life situation

If we can stimulate children to be more aware of forests, to learn more about them, and to understand how they function, they’ll be well-equipped with the awareness, knowledge, and passion to apply what they’ve learned and create a healthier planet, for generations.

They’ll confidently share a well-informed and truthful message, “Yes, please feel free to print this email.”

You may think special expertise is needed to teach forest stewardship. 

While a degree in forestry, wildlife science, biology, or botany might be helpful, nothing is more important than enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. 

It’s also not necessary to have all the answers to be a good teacher. A keen interest in youth and being receptive to continuous learning are the essential ingredients for success. 

Mixing these ingredients with sound information and age-appropriate curriculum is at the heart of our efforts, so that young people will actually enjoy learning and discovering the truth about trees.

At the North American Forest Foundation, we’re focused on changing hearts and minds about wood, for good, by harvesting the next generation through education.

Through generous donations from companies and individuals, like you, we’re supplying teachers and kids with free resources, education, and support with our signature Truth About Trees Kits in packaged and digital formats. 

Who do you know that’s an educator or education coordinator? We’d like to partner with and support them.

Field trips will be starting back up this fall. The Kit is a perfect way to extend their experience from your organization back to the classroom. 

Helping kids become #exTREEmelysmart will keep our industry and planet healthy and strong for generations.

With your continued support, we can educate ONE MILLION kids by 2030, encourage young people to choose careers in the forest products industry, and strengthen the fiber of businesses, communities and families, like yours.

Let’s grow something beautiful together. 

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, to make a donation, or find out how you can help change hearts and minds about wood, for good, please visit us at www.northamericanforestfoundation.org or drop me a line at adeford@northamericanforestfoundation.org

Becoming #exTREEmelysmart feels so good! 

By Allison Deford

By Allison Deford, Executive Director, North American Forest Foundation, Collierville, Tn 901-860-4131 adeford@northamericanforestfoundation.org

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