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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   Native Forest Council | Children for an HONEST education campaign

Children for an HONEST Education Campaign

Society’s 55 million school-aged children represent our nation’s most treasured and valuable resource, the foundation of a sustainable and civil future.

This generation of children is now being targeted by powerful interests, who look to manipulate their education, manufacture their values, and flood our schools with “educational materials” that are no more than attempts to minimize environmental concerns and push corporate agendas.

Environmental education, in particular, is under full-scale assault. Multinational corporations are designing and distributing “environmental curricula” that is professionally produced, easy to use, often free, and incredibly biased in the favor of industry.

The ‘Children for an HONEST education campaign, looks to expose this little discussed public issue, provide teachers and their students with scientifically sound alternatives to utilize in the classroom and raise a call to arms, in the name of our children.

The objective of this ‘flood of corporate sponsored teaching materials’ is simple: protect industries that despoil the planet and put the brakes on the emergence of environmental awareness among young people. Surreptitious public relations campaigns and deceptive advertising are battling for the hearts and minds of our children. And schools, those sacrosanct places of civic learning, are the last and relatively commercial free places in our society, and must not be for sale. The message of the campaign is clear and leaves no room for compromise. No community, let alone society, can consider itself moral and robust if its children are pawns for profit.

We sincerely ask you, to join ranks with us, to lead a nation-wide battle to free our children from the chains of overt and pernicious corporate PR campaigns in the classroom. How can you help? To learn, please read on.


 



WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN?

The ‘Children for an HONEST education Campaign’, is project of the Native Forest Council. The Native Forest Council, well known for its’ passion to protect our nation’s public lands, has emerged as a leader in the quest to expose these PR campaigns in our schools. Our environmental education coordinator, John F. Borowski, has created a national stir about the need to confront this issue. His writing (see enclosed) has appeared in the N.Y. Times, Oregonian, UTNE Reader, and other national publications. John broke the story of John Stossel’s attempt to manipulate data while attacking environmental education on a June 29th program, “Tampering with Nature” Disney/ABC program. He also got nationwide attention with his appearance on ‘Making Contact’ a national radio project, and his insightful discussion on the program, ‘Consuming Classrooms: Private Interests and Private Education. Just recently, VegSource.com ran 3 of John’s articles on their website. His article, ‘Commercialism in a Can’ shows how soda pop companies score exclusive contracts for their products in our schools. Over consumption of pop has been linked to type 2-diabetes.

The ‘Children for an HONEST education Campaign’ has already begun, with outreach to schools across the country. We will kick off our official campaign in March of 2002. The forum we have chosen to initiate our fight has tremendous potential to create a national surge of excitement, enlightenment and education.

The National Science Teachers’ Convention (NSTA) will take place in San Diego, California, during March 27-30th. This is the 50th anniversary of the NSTA, and it promises a turnout of over 25,000 teachers! But, this prestigious gathering of educators will also showcase the largest venue of corporate interests ranging from Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau to the American Forest Foundation and Greening Earth Society. They will be downplaying everything from species extinction and global warming to clearcutting and the abuse of our national lands.

This is the perfect scenario to announce the ‘Children for an HONEST education Campaign’ and its mission, both short and long term. Please let me outline our plan of attack.

  • March 27-30th 2002: The Native Forest Council will secure two booth spaces at the NSTA convention in San Diego. The ‘Children for an HONEST education Campaign’, will look to distribute the following materials for teachers and their students:
  • 3 different ‘Forest Voices’, including primers on the attack on environmental education and the ecological values of safeguarding our nations’ 750 million plus acres of public lands.
  • Distribute the video, “The Faceless Ones” a brilliant short analysis of the world’s global environmental problems and asks the question, ‘who are the ones responsible for these shortsighted policies that jeopardize the livability of the planet?’ The Native Forest Council has been given copyright to the film and we will look to distribute between 4,000 and 6,000 copies. A teachers’ guide for both K-5 and 6-12 grade will be given out. The guide will outline major global environmental threats, provide suggested readings and solutions to these problems.
  • Offer the Native Forest Council’s FREE E-FAX service. This wonderful service, e-faxes to teachers, weekly articles from a wide range of magazines, newspapers and journals covering a plethora of science topics. The teachers can download the articles that they believe are most pertinent to their teaching at the current time or in future lessons. EACH WEEK a featured article, will be accompanied with a lesson plan for both elementary and high school age students. This lesson plan to examine the issue of the article, pose questions, suggest readings and enable the educator to take a very current topic and make it relevant and exciting.
  • Provide a copy of the report titled, ‘Captive Kids’, by the trusted researchers at Consumer’s Reports. This detailed study, highlights the transparency of these ‘corporate sponsored educational materials’.

FUNDING NEEDS

Pending funding, the campaign would like to distribute two very special videos, one targeted for the younger students and the other for older students.

For K-5th students, we would like to distribute copies of the ‘Lorax’, Dr. Seuss’s timeless treasure on protecting our environment and especially our forests. An accompanying guide would provide a primer on forests, their structure and value. The primer would also provide fun activities and labs, for a hands-on approach.

For the older students, we would like to provide David Suzuki’s masterpiece on sustainability and globilization, ‘Trading Futures’. This wonderful film, with guest appearances by Suzuki, David Korten, Lester Brown, and other respected ecologists and economists, highlights the folly of treating the earth as if it were a business in liquidation. John Borowski uses it in his classroom, and recommends it as one of the most influential videos he has utilized in 21 years of teaching environmental education. An accompanying teachers’ guide would provide critical thinking about globilization and looking at building a sustainable society.

We want to distribute a 12-15 page, primer (in the style of the Forest Voice, on the Native Forest Council website) on the worst offenders in this campaign to brainwash our children. (See Native Forest Council info@forestcouncil.org and the website is www.forestcouncil.org) From Weyerhaeuser to the Greening Earth Society to Monsanto, we will expose the tricks and lies that these entities are using to confuse and mislead our children in our schools.

And finally, we would build a data base of teachers who would help fight the flood of corporate sponsored materials in classrooms. Our E-FAX service would highlight federal legislation and other actions to rid schools of these PR gimmicks. It is crucial to highlight this issue to the school board associations of the nation as well.

YOU CAN HELP

Please consider helping our battle against the corporate invasion of schools. We kick off this noble effort in March 27, 2002. We are trying to raise $100,000 in seed money for this effort. Every penny will go to teachers’ materials, videos and services to battle the flood of corporate materials in schools.

Please donate whatever your heart and soul can muster. Please send donations to John Borowski/Honest Ed. Campaign, PO Box 483 Philomath, Oregon, 97370. Please make out the checks to the Native Forest Council or NFC/Honest Ed. Thanks from the bottom of my heart, and the kids thank you also.

Blessing and be well.

John Borowski
(please feel free to contact me
at 541-929-5224 or jenjill@proaxis.com)


John F. Borowski has been teaching Marine Science, Environmental Biology and Earth Science for 21 years at North Salem High in Salem, Oregon.


John Borowski

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