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Silver Spring teacher writes children's book on environmental awareness

Tuesday - 7/23/2013, 9:15am  ET

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In Jennifer Chambers' new children's book, 'Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle,' one discarded bottle takes advantage of its situation to teach children about pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. (Courtesy Key Marketing Group)

WASHINGTON - If you think a water bottle can't have an adventure, think again.

In Jennifer Chambers' new children's book, "Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle," one discarded bottle takes advantage of its situation to teach children about pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

The personified bottle, which was not properly recycled, travels the local streams and rivers, making friends along the way.

Chambers, who worked as an environmental educator and is a middle school science teacher in Silver Spring, Md., got the idea for her book when working with youth on a six-month workshop with Montgomery Housing Partnership in Silver Spring.

She developed a series of lessons about trash and litter in the community, and one of the lessons focused on the journey of a juice box that was littered in the park.

"We talked about when it rains, what happens, and did they ever think that juice box could enter the Long Branch stream that they live close to, and where would that juice box end up," says Chambers, who reflected on the lesson a few days later and realized it would make a good children's story.

"Lessons can be learned from the book ... The book can be used as a tool to begin discussions to how litter impacts eco-systems and watersheds and the animals, and the longevity of that litter that stays in the watershed," says Chambers, who hopes the message of the book will inspire its young readers to take action and clean up their local environments.

According to Chambers, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation's Rise Above Plastics program.

"They're doing a lot of work to try to educate and advocate and combat the rising problem with plastics in our oceans, and the problems it's causing for all the animals, particularly turtles and seabirds and large fish like sharks and whales."

Even though it took Chambers several years to write "Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle," she's not slowing down. She's currently working on a book about the D.C. area's best hikes for kids.

"I'm looking forward to … hopefully getting a lot more families out on the trails and enjoying the incredible natural resources we have here in the Washington, D.C. area," Chambers says.

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