12/4/14

Building Reach, Near and Far

We know that if we build a web presence with the right SEO (search engine optimization) over time we will reach those who are searching for what we are offering.

But what if your target audience isn’t looking for what you’re doing? How can we reach them?

This is the 5th year of the Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest, so naturally those who have entered in the past are aware and may enter again. In addition, some parents and kids in countries around the world may be watching what other countries are doing and then get into the action as well. In the past 5 years we have received thousands of entries from more than 27 countries! When people are looking for something specific on the web and the right SEO is in place, those pages are found.

For example, Hong Kong has entered many beautiful artworks over the past few years, but this year in addition to the entries from China, we received entries from Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. Last year we received some amazing art from Estonia, and this year from England, Ireland, Denmark, and Romania. Information can spread to new areas when we consistently push it out there and when the public is actively looking for it and then shares it, pushing it even further.

But the question today is how do we reach the ones nearby?

kids drawing frogs in park jersey city

The answer is by introducing people to real-time situations where they are learning new things. If we want children who live in urban areas to understand nature and why saving frogs is important, we need to bring them to the source, yes bring them to nature. How can we expect children who live in urban environments to care about wildlife when it is somewhat foreign to them? This is why many classrooms today have class pets. So children can be directly involved in the health and well-being of those animals. But there is nothing better than showing them the animals’ true habitat.

Last Spring, Frogs Are Green made a presentation to 60 first-graders at the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, showing them both frog art from around the world and a slideshow of some of the most unusual frogs. They learn about frogs and amphibians as part of their school curriculum and they already knew quite a bit and were very enthusiastic about the topic.

During 2014 we developed a new six-week curriculum, “Frogs, Amphibians and their Threatened Environment – Discovery and Expression through Art” which is available for download, under the education tab on our website.

During the summer and early fall, we had set up tables at quite a few community fairs and events so children could stop by, sit down and draw frogs with the art supplies we laid out. Children love to create and don’t need that much encouragement once engaged. They just need the right guidance from teachers and parents. We also know that children love animals. Many have pets at home, but it’s not the same as seeing those animals in nature.

If we want children to care about nature, we must show it to them, through field trips and when they see the real thing it will lead them to care what happens in the future.

What’s cool is that even in urban areas there are parks, such as our own Liberty State Park. Imagine the fantastic discovery students might have by seeing everything from frogs to birds, and more if they just went there with an educator.

We see a sharing cycle of teachers educating children, who bring that information home and tell their parents, who then share that with other parents, who share it with their kids and on to community leaders.

The key is getting those sparks of information and creativity started in the right places and making sure the people you want to reach are receiving it.

by Susan Newman, founder

07/3/12

Frogs Are Green 2012 Kids' Art Contest: Now Open for Submissions!

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

We are very excited to announce that the 3rd annual Frogs are Green Kid’s Art Contest is now open for submissions!

Contest theme: IT’S EASY BEING GREEN!

Your artwork can be about frogs and how we can help them, or it can also be about ways we can be green at home, at school, or in the community.

We will award winners based on age in these age groups: 3-6, 7-9, 10-12. The winners will receive a Frogs Are Green poster of their choice from our store. All kids who enter the contest will receive a certificate of participation that can be downloaded from our site.

We’re looking for drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, mixed media, or whatever format helps you express yourself.

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012, and the winners will be announced January 15, 2013. The winners will be featured in a post.

This year we have a new contest area using Flickr, where you can enter yourself. You must add a caption/ description with your Name, Age, and Country or your submission will not be added. Please see the contest page for more details.

Teachers: Please print out the attached flyer to post in your school.

We can’t wait to see your artwork!

01/5/12

Announcing the Winners of the Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2011

We’re excited to announce the winners of our second annual FROGS ARE GREEN art contest for kids. We received over 500 entries from young artists from more than 20 countries around the world. Each piece of art is special to us and we are so grateful to the kids, parents, and teachers who sent in their creations. We were thrilled to see so many original, fun, and thoughtful drawings and paintings of our favorite amphibian. It was extremely difficult to pick winners.

This year we also received many 3D artworks so we added a 3D art category. In addition, we added three more categories—the best “green theme” artwork, the best “poster idea or promotion” of Frogs Are Green, and the most “unusual” art.

The artwork will continue to be on exhibit in our gallery, and we encourage all participants to show off their amazing artwork to friends, family, and fellow students. We will be sending out the free wristbands to every child who entered the contest. If you haven’t sent us your address, please do so. You can also print out a downloadable certificate of participation.

Ages 3-6

Winner: Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, “This is art” creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Second place: Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 years, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, “This is art” creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 years, Kalutara, Sri Lanka.

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 yrs old, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 yrs old, Kalutara, Sri Lanka.

Ages 7-9

Winner: Artwork by Megan Mol, 7 years old, Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Artwork in a mixed media style, using oil pastels, paint and dyes, by Megan Mol, 7 yrs old, from the school, Beaumont Primary in Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Artwork in a mixed media style, using oil pastels, paint and dyes, by Megan Mol, 7 yrs old, from the school, Beaumont Primary in Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Second place: Artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 years old, West Sacramento, California, USA

"Wild Frog" artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 yrs old, West Sacramento, CA.

"Wild Frog" artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 yrs old, West Sacramento, CA.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 years old, Belgrade, Serbia

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 years old, Davis, CA.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 yrs old, Davis, CA.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 yrs old, Davis, CA.

Ages 10-12

Winner:

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Second place: Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Bangkok, Thailand.

Artwork by Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Pan-Asian International School, Bangkok, Thailand.

Artwork by Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Pan-Asian International School, Bangkok, Thailand.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, California, USA

Watercolor artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, CA.

Watercolor artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, CA.

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Lithuania

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Lithuania

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Best 3D Art

Winner: 3D Frog Sculpture by Ariana Brush, 8 years old, Lake Helen, Florida, USA

3D Frog Sculpture by Adriana Ledoux, age 8 from Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts, Lake Helen, FL.

3D Frog Sculpture by Ariana Brush, age 8 from Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts, Lake Helen, FL.

Honorable mentions:

Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland

3D Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland.

3D Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland.

Artwork by Emilija Ciuplyte, Karolina Budvytyte, Migle Ginaityte, Augustas Mozuras, Urte Kasperiunaite, Andreja Urbanaviciute, Dautartas Rimkus, Rytis Ziberkas, Beatrice Milkeviciute, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by students, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by students, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Best “Green Theme” Art

Winner: Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"It's Easy Being Green" artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"It's Easy Being Green" artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"Keep Green! Save Us!" artwork by Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"Keep Green! Save Us!" artwork by Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

Best “Frogs Are Green” Poster

Winner: Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Honorable mention:

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Most Unusual Artwork

Winner: Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.
Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Thanks to all the participants!

12/15/10

Announcing the Winners of the Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2010

We’re excited to announce the winners of our first FROGS ARE GREEN art contest for kids. We received entries from around the world—each piece of art was special and we are so grateful to the kids, parents, and teachers who sent in the art. We were thrilled to see so many creative, whimsical, and thoughtful drawing and paintings of frogs and visions of a green planet. It was difficult to pick winners. Because we had so much lovely art to choose from, we had to come up with criteria for choosing our winners. Here’s how we chose the winners:

We gave preference to artwork that reflected the contest theme: It Is Easy Being Green. We also liked artwork that captured some aspect of “frogginess,” whether it was frog behavior, habitat, and so on. We also took into account the originality of the artist’s vision. That said, we were stunned by the beauty of so many pieces that didn’t necessarily fit any of these criteria.

Ages 3-6

Winner: Reagan Schwartz, 6 years old, Olney, Maryland

Winner of Frogs Are Green kids art contest 2010 - age group 3-6

Artwork by Reagan Schwartz, age 6, from Olney, Maryland, USA. Winner - age group 3-6.

We liked this drawing of a happy frog on a lily pad.

Ages 7-9

Winner: Chung Chin Hang, 9 years old, Hong Kong

Winner of the Frogs Are Green kids art contest 2010 - age group 7-9

Artwork by Chung Chin Hang, 9 yrs old, Hong Kong. Winner age group 7-9.

We liked Chung Chin Hang’s vision of how to make the world greener—clean the water and plant trees.

Honorable mention: Li Hing Fung, 8 years old, Hong Kong

Honorable mention, Frogs Are Green kids art contest 2010, Age group 7-9

Artwork by Li Hing Fung, 8 yrs old, Hong Kong, Honorable Mention, Age group 7-9.

This a beautiful painting of frogs in the rainforest.

Ages 10-12

Winner: Jason Zhu, 10 years old, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Winner of the Frogs Are Green kids art contest 2010, Michigan, USA, Age group 10-12

Artwork by Jason Zhu, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Winner - age group 10-12

We liked Jason’s interpretation of our contest theme. On one side the frog is sad, the world is grey, trees are cut down, and factories are spewing pollution. The other side reflects a happier, greener world.

Honorable mention: Chan Ho Kong, 11 years old, Hong Kong

Honorable mention frogs are green kids art contest age group 10-12

Artwork by Chan Ho Kong, 11 yrs old, Hong Kong, Honorable Mention, age group 10-12

We liked how this painting encourages global cooperation to help frogs and clean up the planet.

Honorable mention: Cheng Ho Fung, 11 years old, Hong Kong

Artwork by Cheng Ho Fung, 11 yrs old, Hong Kong, Honorable Mention

Artwork by Cheng Ho Fung, 11 yrs old, Hong Kong, Honorable Mention, Age group 10-12

This painting has a sophisticated design and a strong message.

THANKS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO ENTERED OUR CONTEST!

YOUR ARTWORK IS AMAZING!!!

The winners artwork will be used to create new posters for the It Is Easy Being Green campaign. The winners will also receive 2 copies of this new poster.

All other kids who entered will receive a FROGS ARE GREEN (eco-friendly) wristband (to be sent early in 2011).

08/18/10

Back to School at FROGS ARE GREEN!

It’s back-to-school time and we’d like to introduce you to a few notable children’s books about frogs and other amphibians published recently:

THE FROG SCIENTIST by Pamela S. Turner, photographs by Andy Comins (Houghton Mifflin, 2009)

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, with his children, reads a book his mother gave him as a child, from THE FROG SCIENTIST. Photo copyright Andy Comins.

This book, part of the Scientist in the Field Series, is a biography of frog scientist Dr. Tyrone Hayes at UC-Berkeley, who has done groundbreaking studies about the effects of atrazine, a widely used herbicide, on frogs.  While the book is mainly a biography of Hayes, it is also a good overview of the global amphibian crisis and it includes an easy-to-understand explanation of the scientific method. The book has a lively, engaging design and many wonderful photos. It would be ideal for kids who are at that age (around 10 or so) when they decide that “science is boring.”

Dr. Hayes is an engaging subject for a biography, and the anecdotes about him are refreshing for this type of book (which can often be dry). A whole unit could be planned around THE FROG SCIENTIST, covering such topics as a science as a career, African Americans in science, the global amphibian decline, the scientific method, to name just a few.

A PLACE FOR FROGS by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Higgins Ford (Peachtree 2009).

A PLACE FOR FROGS by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Higgins Bond

For younger children (@5-8), this nonfiction picture book introduces different species of frogs and places them in their habitats. Each oversized double-page spread features a frogs species, their habitat, and shows some of the ways that human action and interaction can affect frog populations.

For example, one spread describes the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog and its habitat, and explains why adding trout to the frogs ponds caused their decline (the trouts devoured the tadpoles). When people removed the trout, the frog populations began to recover. The frog and its habitat is depicted in gorgeous realistic paintings and is described in easy-to-understand language.

A Place for Frogs could be used for teaching kids about animal habitats (this author/artist team also did A Place for Butterflies and A Place for Birds). It could also be used in a unit about endangered animals, a unit devoted to frogs and amphibians, or it could be read as a springboard to study a local endangered frog in more detail, depending on where the school is located.

Big Night for Salamanders by Sarah Marwil Lamstein, art by Carol Benioff (Boyds Mill, 2010).

Illustration from BIG NIGHT FOR SALAMANDERS by Sarah Marwil Lamstein, art by Carol Benioff

In this narrative nonfiction picture book, a boy waits for the Big Night, the first rainy night in late winter or early spring when the blue-spotted salamanders begin their annual migrations. The salamanders must travel from their forest burrows to vernal pools, where they breed and lay eggs. The problem is the salamanders must cross a busy highway to reach the vernal pools. The boy, along with other volunteers, helps the salamanders cross the road. A parallel text in italics describes the migration of salamanders.

This is a lovely simple story about how one boy helps an endangered species close to home. It is illustrated in richly-colored gouache. At the back is information about the life cycle of blue-spotted salamanders, as well as information about the Big Night and vernal pools.

Big Night for Salamanders would be a good read-aloud book for younger children. It could also be used in units about the life cycles of animals, and about species whose habitats are threatened. Teachers could read this book in the spring and plan a field trip to a local vernal pool.

Don’t forget about the FROGS ARE GREEN ART CONTEST FOR KIDS! Please download and print out this flyer to tell kids about the contest.

07/21/10

Calling All Kids – 2010 FROGS ARE GREEN Art Contest

Calling all kids ages 3-12!

We’ve launched a new campaign to help frogs! As part of the campaign we’re excited to announce the first FROGS ARE GREEN art contest for kids.

Contest theme: IT IS EASY BEING GREEN!

Your artwork can be about frogs and how we can help them, or it can be about ways we can be green at home, at school, or in the community.

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2010 and the winner will be announced December 15, 2010. The winner will be featured in a post and his or her artwork will be used to create a poster for the campaign. The winner will also receive 2 copies of this new poster. All other kids who enter will receive a FROGS ARE GREEN (eco-friendly) wristband.

We’re looking for drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, or whatever format helps you express yourself. Send your digital files or photographs of the objects to us at info@frogsaregreen.com. The file should be no larger than 3MB.

We can’t wait to see your artwork!

© 2010 Frogs Are Green | Illustration © 2010 Paul Zwolak

See our poster and t-shirt with Paul Zwolak’s artwork!