Snail story – animations with kids

Did you read about “George, the loneliest snail”? It’s a really sad story about the last of a tree snail species that died on January 1, 2019.

I had two stories to write for my “Animations with Kids” project at Wolf Meadow. One I had thought of back in the fall. But I was stuck for the second story I needed for the second class.

This school has a high minority population. I wanted, therefore, to do a story with them about environmental justice. Like landfills or power plants being clustered too close to poor or minority-heavy neighborhoods. Oh, look! I wrote an article about that for WIRED. Yeah, and the lady got really mad at me, what can I say?

Any case, I never wrote that environmental justice story for the Wolf Meadow kids … I was trying to figure out what the exact topic would be and before I put pen to paper, I read about George the snail. And I decided to switch to that topic.

I hesitated a little bit, also, with the environmental justice story because it’s, unfortunately, somewhat of a political thing, right? Like, the people in power are actively setting things up so that landfills and other dirty, polluting structures are going to be where poor, less powerful people live. So I wasn’t sure that what I might write, environmental justice-wise, would be very welcome by the school authorities.

And besides, I don’t know too much of the specifics of the environmental justice situation in Concord, and how it might be specifically affecting the kids at Wolf Meadow.

Now that I’ve met the kids, I’m glad I did the snail story instead. Because these kids have sweet smiles and eager faces, and I don’t know that I could have taught them about environmental justice in a healthy way. Maybe I would just have left them feeling helpless.

So snail story it is! But, I’m a little worried about that one, as well. First, I’m not a snail expert, of course. I sent my story to four different snail professors (what a job!) to have them check. I heard back from 2 of them. Scientists are nice.

So they’ve checked it for accuracy, but what kind of bothers me about the snails in Hawaii is that you know Hawaii was stolen from native people there, and before the new people arrived, the snail populations were doing just fine. So it’s the westerners who have contributed to the declining wildlife .. but it also seems to be all western scientists doing the work to now try to save the snails! It’s kind of ironic. Oh, wait, I wrote another article for WIRED that touched on just that same theme! I’m not sure I’m really making that clear at all in my snail story.

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