Chippy Chipmunk program helps students deal with a 'nature deficit'
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Students at Saint Joseph Regional Academy in Jim Thorpe were both educated and entertained by a visit from author Kathy Miller and her friend Chippy Chipmunk, who conducted an interactive program aimed at motivating them to spend more time outdoors and explore nature.
Students at Saint Joseph Regional Academy (SJRA) in Jim Thorpe were treated to a visit from an author whose work inspires them to explore nature.
Using a slide show and a discussion about her photo-illustrated nature books, author Kathy Miller hopes to motivate children to spend more time outdoors.
Along with other birds and animals, the main character in her books is Chippy Chipmunk who, much to the delight of the students, also accompanied Miller on her visit to the school.
The author noted that "because of the nature deficit of them spending too much time indoors and too much screen time, I think maybe the camera is the gadget to get them outside.
"I give them photo tips; I give them writing tips; I show them how I was able to illustrate books with photography."
Kathy spent two years photographing and observing Chippy Chipmunk in her own garden.
In addition to the images found in her two books - "Chippy Chipmunk, Parties in the Garden" and "Chippy Chipmunk, Babies in the Garden" - Miller's photographs have been published in various newspapers and magazines and graced the covers of brochures,
With bachelor degrees in Education and Music, Miller is a teacher, professional cellist, and nature photographer who enjoys doing interactive school programs that typically include a listening activity, nature photography tips, and the story of Chippy projected on a screen.
Using her nature photographs, Miller creates custom postcards and notecards for local businesses, including the Yuengling Brewery, America's Oldest Brewery.
She donates 25 cents from the sale of each notecard to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world's first refuge for birds of prey.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Miller now lives in New Ringgold, with her husband and a very spoiled indoor cat.