Sunday, October 4, 2015

Three Young Environmentalists Inspired by Harry Potter

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not"

That quote, from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, was read out loud by three budding environmentalists at a 2013 town hall meeting in Lexington, Massachusetts. The Grade 3 students were successful in their effort to get the city to make room for solar panels on public buildings and, subsequently, saving a patch of woods.

Save Tomorrow, which takes its name from the girls' grassroots moniker, is the latest short film in Lynne Cherry's "Young Voices for the Planet" series. Based in Maryland, Cherry recently traveled to Lexington for a special showing, in a manner befitting her focus. From a report in the Frederick Post:

In September, Cherry, who lives on a farm near Thurmont, strapped on her bike helmet and cycled 320 miles from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Boston. The five-day event was a fundraiser called the Climate Ride. While some participants went along to support beneficiaries of the charitable ride, Cherry was actually one of those beneficiaries; all were nonprofits committed to the environment.
Her 501c3, Young Voices on Climate Change, creates partnerships with nonprofits and universities that use her films as an educational tool. She showed her latest "Young Voices" piece on one of the nights that riders congregated at a rest stop. The subjects from that particular film appeared with her: three young girls from Lexington, Massachusetts.

In the short film, the girls (now 11, 12) explain how they were inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. "I think the fight against climate change is kind of like the fight of Harry Potter and the Death Eaters," one of them says. "Harry Potter was born into this problem, just like we were born into this problem," adds another.

"We saw that Harry Potter was brave. Even though he was kid, he made a difference. We kind of saw Harry Potter as a role model," explains the third. The trio was also inspired by some of Cherry's earlier "Young Voices" shorts. Bravo!

The film series, already picked up by National Geographic, will be added to the PBS website in November. Earlier this year, Andrea Shea, an arts writer at WBUR-FM in Boston, wrote about the visit she paid to the three young enviornmentalists.

[Save Tomorrow]

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