The arts and the natural world that so often inspires artistic expression are a powerful source of compassion, courage and understanding. In this workshop, River of Words co-founder Pamela Michael will discuss ways to utilize the arts and environmental education to help children develop compassion for all living things, and to become informed stewards of the planet–in short, to fall in love with the earth. Using examples of children’s art and poetry from around the world, we will briefly explore how to build empathy and social/emotional competence in young people by providing them with opportunities to explore the cultural and natural history of their own homegrounds, as well as equipping them the observational, artistic and linguistic tools necessary to effectively express and share their responses to the world around them.
About the Workshop Leader
Pamela Michael is a writer, radio producer and education reform activist. She is the executive director and co-founder (with Robert Hass) of River of Words, a non-profit organization that pioneered the concept of place-based education and effectively combined environmental and arts education for children. Michael is the former director of the United Nations’ Task Force on Media and Education, and has worked for Save the Children in Egypt, the United States Coalition for Education for All, and many other development and educational organizations. Michael also worked for the Discovery Channel’s Educational Division as a curriculum development consultant and was Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the San Jose Symphony. She is the author of several books, including The Whole World is Watching: An International Inquiry into Media Involvement in Education, The Gift of Rivers: True Stories of Life on the Water, and many magazine, journal and newspaper articles. She is the former host of a travel show on public radio “The Animal Show” on Sirius Satellite Radio. Her four-part radio series on history of Buddhism, narrated by Richard Gere, and her coverage of the execution of Robert Alton Harris won her many awards, including the NFCB Golden Reel. Michael lives in the Curry Creek Watershed on Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area.