Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Love of Books... And Jane Goodall

This summer, a children's library that was very dear to me closed its doors. Outside of the public system, the books from this library were in need of finding a new home.  Over 1000 books were now homeless.

Books, like people, need someone to love them.

We all know: we protect what we love.  Given that, I pushed hard against my natural instinct to grab them all and run.  (Let's be real: my overstuffed, doubled stacked bookshelf at home already has maxed its limit. That's what happens when you move from a 3rd grade teaching position to that of technology specialist, with an office versus a classroom. There was no way I could accommodate 1000 old friends.)  

Luckily, there were many other book lovers (& lovers of this library), so the majority of the books found new places to live. Classrooms. Gifts for grandchildren. Bookshelves in family homes. A library for a Boys and Girls Club was going to be born from some of these books.  These books were going forth to make a difference in the lives of students, children, teachers, & more.

That is what is called the silver lining in the aftermath of loss.

Within the 5 bags I brought home (3 for another teacher friend and 2 for me), I found some old friends. One book in there was a gem of memories indeed. An autographed copy, in fact. The book: With Love by Jane Goodall. 

With love, indeed.

I was fortunate enough to see this champion of the environment speak at my former school in the Spring of 2008. Dr. Jane Goodall's passion and purpose are unrivaled.  This video speaks volumes of both of those, and points us the direction to go forth and make a difference.

A tribute to Dr. Jane Goodall  
(Song: "Why Shouldn't We?" by Mary Chapin Carpenter)

The video and book also can serve as a spring board to learn more about this amazing woman who followed her dreams and broke barriers as a woman as well as a human going forward in the animal world. It serves as a good example that if this solitary woman can live in this chimpanzee world, communicating and hearing each other, then certainly shouldn't we be able to do that with our fellow humans?

To immerse yourself or your class in Jane Goodall's amazing world, check out the following:

Virtual Tours:
Other Sites to Investigate:
  • The Jane Goodall Institute is always a great place to go to stay current with Jane's adventures
  • Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees site has a number of downloadable classroom activities and lesson plans.
  • BrainPop not only has as movie for Jane Goodall, but some educator resources as well.
  • Core Knowledge has a detailed, multi-day lesson plan for Kindergarten, with a bounty of books and additional resources.
  • Since this is what led me to reflect on Dr. Jane Goodall, this is a good place to circle back to. For a complete listing of books on all levels about Jane Goodall, as well as books she has written, this list at is a good place to go.

Autograph from my book and my camera, Book image from; Video from

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