WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As a part of an ongoing campaign encouraging children to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council have teamed up with Universal Pictures and Project Learning Tree to create an educational curriculum for the Discover the Forest Public Service Advertising campaign featuring Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
The curriculum, available on the Discover the Forest website, www.discovertheforest.org/lorax, features newly designed content and materials for the classroom and families, broken down into two sets of educational kits. With the support of Universal Pictures, all of the content features characters and imagery from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, an animated adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope and "speaks for the trees." As advocates for forest conservation, the Lorax and his fellow forest friends are the ideal characters to encourage children to explore and enjoy nature everywhere.
Teachers may download a complete classroom guide or six individual activities that feature hands-on lesson plans developed by Project Learning Tree. Parents, mentors, camp counselors and families may download six additional activities to use with children that emphasize information about plant and animal development and the benefits of forests. Interactive activities allow children to learn about ecosystems, sustainable management of natural resources, planting trees and much more.
"This public-private partnership is an example of how we can collectively reach the minds and hearts of our children," said Safiya Samman, director of the U.S. Forest Service Conservation Education program. "By engaging them with an indomitable character whose love for nature as his guiding principle, we can connect children to the land and help them identify their role as land stewards."
Initially launched in 2009, the Discover the Forest campaign aims to instill a life-long love for nature in children and to encourage children and their families to experience everything that nature has to offer. As a part of this effort, the campaign launched a series of public service advertisements (PSAs) in December 2012 featuring The Lorax that were produced in English and Spanish for television, radio and outdoor billboards. The ads were distributed to approximately 33,000 media outlets nationwide and will air and run in advertising time and space donated by the media. Since the campaign's inception, media outlets have donated more than $97.3 million in time and space for the Discover the Forest campaign.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, more than 245 million Americans live within 100 miles from a national forest or grassland. However, children in the U.S. spend 50 percent less time outdoors than they did 20 years ago, according to the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Research shows that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and are more likely to become environmentally conscious in the future.
The new educational resources are in addition to the campaign's current educational curriculum, available at www.FindingMyForest.org, that aims to connect students and educators to the forested areas near them.
U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service (www.fs.fed.us) manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and The Advertising Council. The Wildfire Prevention campaign featuring Smokey Bear is the longest running public service advertising (PSA) campaign in U.S. history.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) provides educators with environmental education curriculum that can be integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas. PLT teaches students how to think, not what to think, about complex environmental issues, and helps them learn the skills they need to make sound choices about the environment. Developed in 1976, PLT has a 50-state network of more than 500,000 trained educators using PLT materials that cover the total environment. PLT is a program of the American Forest Foundation. For more information, visit www.plt.org.
SOURCE The Ad Council