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Montreal Students Get Down To Earth And Announce Forthcoming Book On Environment

Top Quote 100 Montreal high school students together with Canada's first woman in space, Roberta Bondar, and Justin Trudeau, the son of Canada's fifteenth Prime Minister, publish a collection of literature in response to global warming and environmental change. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 12, 2008 - This May 100 students at Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal will launch their very own book titled Down to Earth. The collection of literature is an emotional response to global warming, environmental change and, most generally, Mother Nature's plight. The book features poems, essays and short stories which take an in-depth look at what our world might become if we do not act now to change the way we live.

    Justin Trudeau, son of Canada's fifteenth Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, will speak at the launch. Trudeau wrote one of the two introductions to the collection along with Canada's first woman in space Roberta Bondar.

    The publication is a project of the award-winning non-profit educational organization Learning for a Cause founded by Montreal educator and writer Michael Ernest Sweet. Learning for a Cause aims to engage students morally and socially through the act of creative writing. The organization holds a firm belief in the idea that the quill is mightier than the sword.

    "Students can be agents of change, they must become agents of change. Activities carried out in school must be meaningful, authentic and most of all provide opportunity for engagement. We have to take down the school walls and allow living and learning to connect - as they should" comments Michael Sweet.

    The collection has already received wide advance praise. Canada's legendary environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki has said, "nature has inspired poetry for centuries, and it is clear that it continues to do so today. It is inspiring to see how the students of 
Lester B. Pearson have responded to the environmental changes we are beginning to witness. There are important lessons here for all of us, especially adults."

    The first Canadian in space, Mark Garneau, has also endorsed the book. "I am arrested by the words in this book. They stop me in my tracks. They scream for action. I cannot dodge them, rationalize them or whisk them away. They speak of natural rhythms, of aching memories, of beauty that once was but is no longer. They sadden me. They madden me. They also galvanize me and tell me that I must act before another sun goes down.

    Down to Earth is a different kind of book about the environment. It is not filled with facts and figures, with reports and graphs... Down to Earth is packed with emotion, passion and vision. It is a book which poignantly illustrates our feelings in the face of change.

    One student, Michael Langella, writes passionately about the sad day when polar bears will be the stuff of stories. "Thick and creamy, his fur glowed in the cold arctic night... Majestic and sovereign - He was a part of who we are and who we have become. We called him Polar Bear." Another student Anthony Perrozzi, who designed the book's cover, writes about our senseless energy consumption. "I stand here, in these illuminated streets, all the pretty lights surround, giving way to a dark future. Imagine, all these buildings aglow, despite what we already know."

    Down to Earth will be launched at Lester B. Pearson High School, 11 575 PM Favier, Montreal, Quebec on May 14 at 7pm. The public and press are invited to attend. RSVP is required by leaving a message for Michael Sweet at (514) 328-4442 or fax (514) 328-4443.

    The student authors from the collection are available for interview and/or readings from the collection as is the organizations founder. Requests for interview should be directed to Ms. Vani Sood, Executive Assistant to Michael Sweet at (514) 771-8640.

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