“You really got my Green Conscience going!”

by Franke James

Thank you book from Grade Six Class at St Clements School

Franke James presenting at St Clements School in Toronto April 27, 2010 school grade to class photo by Franke James

“I now want to make a difference just like you.”

When I was in school, one of my favorite activities was hearing Guest Speakers talk about their work and their careers. But what made the biggest impact on me was realizing that they were just flesh and blood. They were “human.” Seeing them in person was inspiring because it made me think — “If they can do it, I can do it.”

My Alice in Wonderland moment from Paradise Unpaved, illustration by Franke JamesOn April 27th, I spoke to the students in Grades 3 and 6 at St. Clement’s School (a private girls’ school in Toronto). I read them some of my stories about taking action for the environment, and asked the girls, “What’s the hardest thing you could do for the planet? Is it changing a light bulb? Or is there something more ambitious you could do that would make a difference in your life?”

My call-to-action for the girls was “Listen to your Green Conscience” and then “Do something green and tell everyone about it — using stories, songs and pictures.”

Strong Symbols Tell a Story
Did my message sink in? See for yourself… Below is the handmade “thank you” gift I received from the Grade 6 class. It’s a 4″ square book of drawings and hand-lettered type. The girls’ artwork communicates their messages simply and powerfully using colorful symbols (what I try to do in my own artwork). Their praise is wonderful and effusive — but what is really exciting is to hear the girls talk about their green conscience and their desire to do something more ambitious than changing light bulbs — and thus make a difference for the planet.

Because after all — if I can do it — they can do it — and so can you!

The ‘Thank You’ Book by Gr.6’s at St Clement’s

Franke James: You really got my green conscience going. From N.N.

Thank you for inspiring us and showing us that it's easy to be green. It was cool to see your green garden and I liked your stories with neat pictures. From J.H.

Thank you so much for inspiring us. Now we can inspire other people to be more green who can inspire other people to be more green and so on. I loved the idea of the green driveway. You went the extra mile. A.B

Franke, Your presentation was very interesting. It made me feel like having a green driveway myself which sadly I can't have. It would be awesome to play on the front yard driveway. Sincerely, I.R.

Thank you for coming to ScS and teaching us that if we all try we can make a big difference. From, E.T. Grade Six

Dear Franke James, You are an inspirational person who can change the world. You're a great role model and someone who follows through on her great ideas. Best wishes, L.C. Grade Six

Franke, You looked at both sides of the story. You did the hardest thing first. No matter how hard it was you did it. You're a big inspiration! MY

Thank you for doing more than just turning out the light. It was very inspiring Thank you Franke James! O.W.

Dear Franke James, I found that you were awesome. Giving up your car, driveway and newspaper was really brave! Thanks for being Green! JCPE

Thank you, You inspired everyone not only to just recycle you told us more. You went the extra mile. SH

To Franke James, I love how you are so inspirational to everyone. I love the green driveway! I want one. Thanks for coming! F.L.A. ScS

Dear Franke James, Your green presentation was VERY inspiring. You really got me thinking and I loved the positive attitude that you brought when you talked about being green. I now want to make a difference just like you. Thank you! J.F.

Dear Franke, You walked the walk. Thank you, E.D.

Franke James, Your talk was very inspiring. I really liked how you took action instead of just talking about it. I especially liked your green driveway and your stories. N.C. ScS

The way you showed the positive perspective on global warming got me trying to take action even harder, thank you for waking up my green conscience. G.L.

Franke, Your visual essay about snow and Canada was very interesting and it helped me to worry less. I especially liked learning about doing the green driveway at your house and the green alleys in Chicago. I can't wait to read your book! I.C.

Thanks so much for coming in and inspiring us to go green. I think it's really cool how you sold your car. I really enjoyed your presentation and I hope you come again! From A.B.

Dear Franke James, You inspired me to be more green and to be better to the environment. Thanks for coming! F.M.

Dear Franke James, I found it heartwarming the way you gave up your car, your newspaper, and that you made a green driveway, all to be good to the environment!

Dear Franke, Thank you so much for coming to my school! Your presentation was really awesome. And all the green things you did. Like giving up your SUV, asking someone if Global Warming is good or bad, and going to schools and asking them what they thought about Global Warming! You really made a difference! K

Franke James inspired me to listen my green conscience. I am trying to make a difference in the environment as you did. M.G.

St Clements School Thanks you Franke James

St Clement's School thank you book to Franke James

Now it’s YOUR turn. What’s the hardest thing you could do for the planet?

Do something green that is ambitious for you — and then tell everyone what you did. Send them an email, a photo, phone them — do whatever you want to document your green gift to the planet.

It only takes one person to inspire a chain reaction. Let me know what happens…

Credits: Drawings copyright the Grade Six girls at St. Clement’s School.
Photo of Franke James by Gustavo Escobedo, SCS
Project coordination and book assembly by Rosa Abbiento, Art teacher at St. Clement’s School

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