|Several books currently are available to help educate youngsters. One deals with learning about diesel engines and protecting the environment, another with the link between eliminating errors and the enjoyment of mathematics. Others on a local level are intended to introduce youngsters to what it means to be a good neighbor and how to understand Joplin's city government and the services it provides.
Science, imagination, education, healthier kids and a cleaner environment come together when Scholastic Inc. and the Environmental Protection Agency team up to clean up the Magic School Bus. Released today, The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up – a new special edition book based on the popular Scholastic series – takes children on a smart, fun and colorful trip to learn what can be done to protect their lungs and their world from air pollution.
In realizing that children are especially vulnerable to the effects of diesel emissions, which can cause respiratory disease and exacerbate long-term conditions, such as asthma, the EPA reports that it has set stringent standards to dramatically cut nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from new heavy-duty diesel engines, such as those used in school buses.
The EPA is addressing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of school buses through Clean School Bus USA, a component of the National Clean Diesel Campaign. In the special edition book, Clean School Bus USA's first partnership with Scholastic, the children and Ms. Frizzle explore the pollution emitted from their own diesel school bus and learn about how to reduce the emissions as they find themselves traveling through a diesel engine. The children learn about idle reduction and ways the community can help reduce the health risks from diesel exhaust. At the end of the book, the "Magic School Bus" gets its own pollution control device, a diesel particulate-matter filter.
Quantities are limited due to the popularity of the book. Individuals, schools, and libraries may order up to 20 copies. Non-profit organizations working on diesel emissions issues and outreach may order up to 500. Other organizations, including for-profit companies, may order up to 100. Larger requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
To order send an e-mail here with your name, address and number of books wanted. Delivery may take up to three weeks. There is no charge.
Eliminating Careless Error is touted as an "easy learn and teach parent's manual to rid children's arithmetic of careless error. Written and illustrated by James Watt, an art teacher and self-professed amateur mathematician from Naperville, IL, the teaching guide geared to children from the second to the fifth grades, promotes the use of reducing numbers to single digits and casting out nines for double checking arithmetic answers.
In a humorous vein the wonderful pen and ink drawings in the book are designed to instill confidence in children working with math problems and unseat the development of any permanent math phobias built up from negative grade school experiences. However, while the book does present ways to check math answers that work, it does fall short of explaining a deeper understanding of numbers.
Eliminating Careless Error is self-published by the author at Back Fence Publishing. It is $15.95 per copy. For more information or to order the book, go here.
The city of Joplin offers free activity books
Meet Larry, Bunny, Bucky and Rocky. These cartoon characters introduce youngsters to their neighbors in the city of Joplin and provide them with simple rules meant to make it a safe and pleasant place for everyone to live.
The 8-page booklet entitled, Being a Good Neighbor is the brainchild of Connie Chrisman, Joplin's community development specialist. Having worked in code enforcement for a number of years, Chrisman decided that creating an activity booklet that parents might share with their kids was a great way to involve them in the betterment of the community.
Illustrations focus on playing safely, cleaning up trash, respecting the postman and police officers who serve them, and understanding how 9-1-1 is used in an emergency.
Although containing some outdated information, City of Joplin Activity Book - What do the people at the city of Joplin do? is a publication that is still available. It introduces children to the city seal and history of Joplin, helps orient them to the major city streets, defines city government and explains the importance of its major departments.
A downloadable copy of Being a Good Neighbor may be found here. Both publications may be picked up for free from the counter in the lobby of the Joplin City Hall, 602 S. Main St.