Children’s Book Author Returns To Baxter Elementary To Talk About The Environment
A former student of Baxter Elementary returned to her old stomping grounds while visiting from Germany, where she now lives. Erin Twamley talked with students about her career as an author and her children’s books on renewable energy and climate change.
Twamley attended Baxter Elementary, graduated from Brainerd High School, and has since lived on three continents and written two books.
“I was working mainly with teachers and teaching them on energy literacy and how to teach kids about energy and was approached with an opportunity with my co-author, a middle school science teacher, to collaborate on a book,” said Twamley.
Her books are geared toward middle-school aged students and put a fun spin on climate change and renewable energy.
“Those are really two important topics for our future. It’s really about creating the next generation, not only of learners but of leaders who can make sure that our planet is green and healthy,” explained Twamley.
“Her books are funny. They take on topics of burps, farts, and greenhouse gasses, so what kid doesn’t love that and love learning about that and talking about that and being allowed to laugh about that,” said Travis Raske, Baxter Elementary Technology Integrationist and Media Specialist.
Every year, the Parent Teacher Organization at Baxter Elementary sponsors an author to come in and speak to the students.
“To see someone who has gone through school, have a career and a job in life that they love and enjoy and that relates to some of the very things that they are doing here everyday,” said Baxter Elementary School Principal Tammy Stellmach.
Twamley talked with the students about renewable energy and also the steps that go into writing a book. After the presentation, the students did an activity where they created their own energy-saving superhero.
“They were thinking about how somebody could save energy, what energy is worth saving, and how a superhero could help do that,” explained Twamley.
For the staff at Baxter Elementary, in addition to learning to take care of the environment, it is important to show the students where their future careers could take them.
“We read books and we see pictures and we don’t realize that there’s actually a person that’s writing those words. That’s their ideas. We’re now reading somebody else’s ideas and those people could be in our community. We don’t have to be from a far away place or a big city,” said Raske. “They can come right from our little Baxter Elementary School.”
Twamley also visited Lowell Elementary, and by the end of her stay will have spoken with around a thousand students in the Brainerd School District.