A Victory for Cute Kids, Civic Engagement, and the Trees

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris1051/403042739/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Chris1051</a>/Flickr

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You have to hand it to the enterprising students of Ted Wells’ fourth grade class. On Wednesday, I wrote about the kids’ Change.org campaign to get Universal Pictures to include more environmental education in the promotional materials for the film version of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. On Thursday, Wells and Change.org announced that Universal has added a huge green icon to the movie site that takes visitors to a page full of information and tips on protecting the environment.

The “Lorax Project” page includes educational materials about trees around the world and ideas about what young people can do to protect them. Wells found out that Universal had updated its site when a representative from the company gave him a call on Wednesday afternoon. I spoke to Wells on the phone Thursday evening, after the class celebrated at their Brookline, Mass. school.

“I need to teach my students a lot in a year, but if I can teach them that they can make a difference, that it feels really good to be part of something bigger than themselves … those are life lessons,” Wells said. “I am pleased kids can have those experiences at 9 or 10.”

Wells also sent some great quotes from his students via email. “We’re going to be on earth longer than adults will,” said one student in the class, Sophia. “By the time we’re adults, it might not look as good as it does now UNLESS people start caring.”

“Even though we might be very little we can still make a lot of change in anything we work hard at,” said another student, Georgia.

The class petition got more than 57,000 signatures at Change.org. Wells said the class had a dance party during their snack break on Thursday to celebrate the victory.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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