November 15, 2021

World Toilet Day Resource Roundup

When my potty-humor books (Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? and Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? ) first rolled onto the scene, I found myself wondering aloud about the appropriateness of creating silly books during such a serious time in our world. I confessed about my worry that maybe I should use my gifts for more serious subjects. 

Photo Credit: West Margin Press

In the end, I came to the conclusion that it is not an either-or situation. That there is in fact value in light-hearted books, and also, that there are ways to connect silly topics to more serious issues. So, although I do try to laugh and have fun, I also do my best to use my platform to raise awareness about topics of import, for example, the importance of clean water and sanitation.

One way to connect this topic to my silly books is to raise awareness about World Toilet Day, a serious observance that takes place on November 19th each year to inspire "action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030. Established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001, World Toilet Day was made an official UN day in 2013." (Source: World Toilet Day Website).

The theme of World Toilet Day 2021 is, "Valuing Toilets." 

Source: World Toilet Day website

Visit the World Toilet Day website where you will find fact sheets to help better understand the issue, along with social media resources to help draw attention to the issue and opportunities to join the conversation and take action

For those looking for even more resources, such as learning extensions and enrichment materials for young readers, here is a solid rundown:  

*Water1st International supports sustainable clean water projects and toilets for the world's poorest communities. They also provide helpful curriculum guides and information about clubs and other youth leadership opportunities related to this issue on their website.

*Northeast Ohio Sewer District offers a seven-part educational series that can be accessed via YouTube.

*The state of New Jersey has educational program called Clean Water Raingers, with interactive activities that can be accessed on their website. 

*Marshall Mitchell, the artist behind the song that accompanies the book trailer for Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty?wrote an entire CD of watershed songs for the Illinois River Watershed Partnership

*Annie Lynn, of AnnieBirdd Music, LLC is a vocal advocate for our planet, and she writes and produces a variety of music for use in educational settings, and she regularly shares a variety of educational resources via Twitter. Here is one example of a song that Annie has developed with interactive elements to engage students in conversations and advocacy around climate issues. (Incidentally, Annie Lynn / AnnieBirdd Music, LLC is the artist behind the song that accompanies the book trailer for Where Does a Pirate Go Potty?)

*Educators' Guides for Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? and Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? go well beyond the silly potty humor portrayed in the books. The guides provide pre and post-reading discussion questions along with learning extensions that support science, math, and language arts, as well as interactive activities such as word searches and Reader's Theatre scripts.  

I'm bolstered by my firm belief that igniting a child's desire to read is serious business, and I'm hopeful that my silly books (and the many fun resources I've developed and curated to support these silly books) will bring laughter into lap time and snickers into story time, setting a joyful foundation for a lifetime of reading. (And, if you ever need a little toilet flushing sound loop to flood you with laughter, you'll find one here. Enjoy!)

Photo Credit: Dawn Prochovnic

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