Celebrating Clean Air Day with Wings and Thingamajigs

Celebrating Clean Air Day with Wings and Thingamajigs

Release Date: Jun 6, 2012

Halton Region celebrated Canadian Environment Week (June 3 - June 9, 2012) and Clean Air Day Link to external site (June 6) with the first public reading of Wings and Thingamajigs, a picture book for children aged four to eight.

Wings and Thingamajigs is the second in a three-book series about the implications of air quality and climate change on human health. This book builds on the themes presented in book one, A Farewell to Featherwagons, particularly the impact of transportation and greenhouse gases, while introducing alternative forms of transportation such as walking.

“Wings and Thingamajigs follows on the success of A Farewell to Featherwagons, weaving local landmarks and compelling characters into a story that both raises awareness and inspires children and their parents to take action,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Preserving our natural heritage, monitoring the impacts of air pollution on human health and protecting public health are all Citizens’ Priorities in Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan. As this story illustrates, simple actions such as walking or biking to school, can have a big impact, not only on our environment but on our health and the health of our children.”

The story brings back Biff, Tyto and Alba-Alba, the Barn Owls from the first book and introduces a new character, a feisty Screech Owl named Echo. When the owls arrive for their first day of school, they are surrounded by idling vehicles in the school drop-off zone. The pollution affects Alba-Alba, who has asthma. As the story progresses, the owls are given an assignment – to invent a non-polluting form of transportation powered by their own wings and talons. While building her project, Alba-Alba discovers that her new friend, Echo, also has breathing difficulties. Together, Alba-Alba and Echo learn that by taking action to “spare the air,” they’ll be able to breathe better and have fun along the way.

Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville read Wings and Thingamajigs to students in her Senior Kindergarten class and Sherry Standish, Supervisor, Bruce Trail Early Learning & Child Care Centre in Milton, read the book to students at the Centre. All students received an autographed copy of the book. Amy Fennell, Raptor Centre Lead, Mountsberg Conservation Area, dropped in at both sessions with some special guests, Echo, a Screech Owl; “Mrs. Hootz” (Octavius), a Great Horned Owl and a Barn Owl, “Alba-Alba” (Jazz).

Over the next few months, copies of the book along with a link to complementary online Storytelling Kit, will be provided to public libraries in Halton as well as child care centres, schools, community networks and partners.

For Clean Air Day, why not walk or bike to your local library and borrow a copy of the book to share with your children or grandchildren. Then consider testing out active transportation on a regular basis by walking or biking somewhere you would normally drive.

To download an electronic version of Wings and Thingamajigs, visit www.halton.ca/thingamajigs. For more information, dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833. The first 100 people who complete a copy of an online evaluation of the book will receive a free copy of the book.

Visit www.halton.ca/featherwagons to read A Farewell to Featherwagons, which is also available online in French, Cantonese, Polish and Spanish.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; emergency medical services; waste management; public health; Ontario Works (formerly social assistance); children’s and seniors’ services; social/non-profit housing; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at www.halton.ca.

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Media Contacts:
Anna Larson
Strategic Communications
905-825-6000, ext. 7851
anna.larson@halton.ca

Sharon Will
Communications Specialist, Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7490