East Georgia State College received $5,745 from the Mill Creek Foundation to purchase pollinator-related educational books and supplies for children, teenagers, and adults in the Swainsboro and surrounding communities. The purpose of the proposal is to help increase the public’s awareness of honeybees and other pollinators and their importance to the environment and our lives. The books will be freely distributed to community members during public activities that East Georgia State College participates in, such as the Pine Tree Festival and Statesboro’s GreenFest Sustainability Event, as well as visits to local schools and library functions.
The following books were purchased with the grant: “The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive” by Joanna Cole; “The Beeman” by Laurie Krebs; “The Pollinator Victory Garden” by Kim Eierman; “First Lessons in Beekeeping” by Keith Deleplane. Along with the books, pollinator themed coloring books and stickers, crayons, and wildflower honey stixs were purchased.
“A major goal of this grant is to get younger children, as well as teenagers and adults, interested in honeybees and other pollinators and to learn to appreciate them and not be ‘afraid’ of or disgusted by all insects,” said Paul Cerpovicz, Bobcat Beekeeping Club advisor and EGSC professor. “By having kids read age-appropriate books on pollinators, or having these books read to them by older siblings, parents, or other adults, it is hoped that they will grow up with a better understanding of the benefit of many insects and how essential they are in nature, as well as what pollination is and why it is essential to produce many of the plants we use for food or just enjoy seeing.”
A related goal is to help educate people of all ages about integrated pest management (IPM), which involves methods of controlling and reducing the presence of unwanted insects and other pests without harming beneficial insects such as pollinators.
The grant also allowed for the purchase of books about pollinator-friendly gardening and plants.
“If every person planted even just a few pollinator-friendly plants, it would have a large beneficial impact on the local pollinator population,” said Cerpovicz.
Another goal is to help beginning beekeepers, or those interested in becoming beekeepers, get started with the craft. To this end, copies of the “go-to” book for learning about beekeeping called “First Lessons in Beekeeping” were purchased to hand-out to interested adults.
“I am very grateful to the Mill Creek Foundation board members for supporting East Georgia State College and its efforts to promote educational awareness of pollinators and their habitats and how best to protect them,” said Cerpovicz.