The magic of nature is everywhere! After a long pandemic winter, it can be good to take time to connect with ourselves, with each other, and with the earth. This issue of Upbeat News will help you make every day Earth Day. We’re spotlighting our new release Jayden’s Impossible Garden with an excerpt featuring recycled crafts to invite nature in. Read the excerpt.

For more resources on service learning and the environment, read on. Also check out our free download of the month, “Planting Curiosity.” This brainstorming worksheet from Social Emotional Stories by Barbara A. Lewis encourages students to plant three ideas and then help them grow.
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New Release Spotlight: Jayden’s Impossible Garden
“A fantastic pick for Earth Day and beyond.”
—Booklist, starred review

Amidst all the buildings, people, and traffic in his neighborhood, Jayden sees nature everywhere: the squirrels scrounging, the cardinals calling, and the dandelions growing. But Mama doesn’t believe there’s nature in the city. So Jayden sets out to help Mama see what he sees. With the help of his friend Mr. Curtis, Jayden plants the seeds of a community garden and brings together his neighbors—and Mama—to show them the magic of nature in the middle of the city.

Timeless and vibrant, this story highlights the beauty of intergenerational relationships and the power of imagination and perseverance in bringing the vision of a community garden to life.

Jayden’s Impossible Garden is the winner of the 2019 African American Voices in Children’s Literature writing contest, cosponsored by Strive Publishing and Free Spirit Publishing.
Related Resources
Explore the ways everything is connected—from the tiniest cells to the largest solar systems.

Ages 5–8 | $16.99
Learn how to care for the earth and about the effects of littering, pollution, and global warming.

Ages 6–10 | $12.99
This project-based guide provides a blueprint for service learning—from getting started to assessing the experience.

Grades K–12 | $39.99
Check out more related resources for kids and educators here.
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
School gardens can connect to curricular areas like math, language, science, health, social science, and more. Barbara A. Lewis, author of The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects, shares 10 quick tips for starting your own school garden. Read now.
The drive to make a difference in the world is a powerful one, but sometimes teens don’t know where to start. This list helps them to create the change they want to see in the world, beginning right in their own backyards. Read now.
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Download of the Month

This free download from Social Emotional Stories by Barbara A. Lewis will encourage curiosity! “Planting Curiosity” is a brainstorming worksheet that asks students to plant three ideas and then help them grow.

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