April 13, 2015
WASHINGTON—Two illustrated storybooks offer elementary school-aged children, their parents and teachers examples of how to put their faith in action and participate in solutions to important problems related to the life and dignity of others. The books provide much-needed resources in Catholic social teaching for this age group and are accompanied by age-appropriate learning resources.
“Green Street Park” is a story about a young boy, his family, and community, who learn to care for God’s creation and their own neighborhood by imitating the model of St. Francis of Assisi. In “Drop by Drop,” students at a Catholic school “journey” across the world to Burkina Faso, West Africa, and learn how a lack of water affects the lives of children there. The students learn about the work of Catholic Relief Services, see how the problem gets solved, and make a plan to help.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published the books through Loyola Press.
“These beautifully illustrated books are a true treasure for parents as well as all educators in teaching children how they, as the followers of Jesus, can solve problems affecting human life and dignity in our backyards and half a world away,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program.
Bishop Soto added, “The Story of ‘Green Street Park’ shows the practical beauty of Jesus’ words in Mark’s Gospel, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ And ‘Drop by Drop’ is a beautiful metaphor for justice that will roll like a river. The story will help young and old plumb their faith as well as their imagination for the untapped resources of the Spirit seeking to renew the face of the earth.”
With “Care for God’s creation” a prominent theme in both books, they also serve as a resource to help families, parishes and schools prepare for the release of Pope Francis’ anticipated encyclical on environmental stewardship.
“These books help our children realize and understand the connection to their peers at home and around the world. It’s a perspective that is essential to growing into globally aware adults who care about their brothers and sisters everywhere and the environment we live in,” said Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian aid agency of the Catholic community in the U.S.
During the week of Earth Day, April 20-24, 2015, the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services will hold a social media contest and give away some free copies.
Also available are “black line masters,” or online educational supplements for teachers to use as worksheets with their classes, as well as “Pray Me a Story” reflections for use with the books.
The books can be ordered online at www.loyolapress.com/twofeetoflove
Editors: Additional information about the books, along with images to download for sharing, are at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/two-feet-storybooks.cfm
Keywords: Catholic social teaching, elementary students, resources, “Green Street Park,” “Drop by Drop,” environmental stewardship, St. Francis of Assisi, Loyola Press, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, CRS, Bishop Jaime Soto, Carolyn Woo, Catholic Campaign for Human Development
MEDIA CONTACTDon Clemmer