18 September 2019
Two pairs of sisters at The Mount School York have produced a stunning children’s book to support marine conservation.
Sisters Charla (13) and Katelyn (11) Banks and Morgan (13) and Lorna (11) Aitchison worked together to produce their self-published book, “Help Save The Turtles”, a charming story for 4-8 year olds which draws attention to the importance of marine conservation and reducing plastic waste in the ocean. The girls said they’d written the book for a younger audience in the hope of encouraging children to understand they can make small changes which have a big impact on the environment, such as reducing plastic use to help reduce ocean waste.
Charla wrote the story, Morgan drew the illustrations and Katelyn and Lorna created the backgrounds to accompany the colourful graphics.
Charla and Katelyn’s mother, Tammy Banks, said, “The girls worked so hard over the holidays to create their book. They are so passionate about climate change. They decided by writing a book aimed at 4-8 year olds they could encourage children from a young age to make small changes with a big impact. It’s a really fun book! They raised money to gift a book to each library in the hope it’ll have a local impact. They also hope to go to schools to read the book to the children. I’m very proud of them!”
During the summer term, Charla and Morgan had taken a trip to Bridlington with The Mount’s borders for a spot of beach-cleaning. There, the girls spent two hours to clear over 400kg of flotsam and jetsam from a small stretch of beach. Charla said, “It was really shocking during the beach clean to see how much rubbish and plastic there actually is on our beaches.” The Marine Conservation Society encourages schools to organise beach cleaning trips around the country and throughout the year. The Great British Beach Clean 2019 takes place this weekend from 20-23 September.
Morgan and Lorna’s mother, Deborah Aitchison, said, “John and I are very proud of the girls’ hard-work and attitude in seeing this to completion. They all feel passionately about making a difference to the world we live in, for their generation and generations beyond. By writing this for the 4-8 age group, they are promoting their generation’s vision of a better world.”
The girls were invited to Acomb Library to read their book for local children, and enjoyed encouraging literacy among young readers.
The Mount’s Assistant Head, Tony McAleese, said today, “We are all extremely proud of the girls’ amazing creativity and ingenuity in launching this book and inspiring younger ones to make an impact on the world around them. The Mount’s Quaker ethos teaches girls to be confident, compassionate young women, who know they can make a difference. Katelyn has another book out which helps new starters prepare for life in primary school. This kind of initiative inspires us all. Our school community looks forward to seeing more innovative ideas brought to life in future from Charla, Morgan, Katelyn, Lorna and their friends.”
The book, which has already sold out, is now in its first reprint. Part of the income will be used to donate a copy of the book to libraries in York. “We are also raising money to help my friend buy a new disability bike, because she has outgrown her old one,” said Charla.
Tammy adds, “You can buy the book on Amazon, support the girls in inspiring young children to save Tommy the turtle and his friends!”