What does he do?

As students enter a session with Appleseedz (actually, environmentalist/entertainer/activist/athlete/chef Tim Womick), they feel the ancient rhythms of an African drum.

He beats a riff, students clap it back. It's all so natural and everyone knows immediately something authentic is about to occur. From first grade to high school, the show is altered to interest and intrigue.

Following brief words on topics from posture to potential, the air takes on the atmosphere of a television game show as participants raise their hands to answer questions, such as, "Who can tell me what kinds of cool things trees give us?"

Once acknowledged, students shout, "Clean Air!," "Shade!," "Homes For Animals!," "Food!," "Hardwood Products!" With the style and mannerisms of a circus ringmaster, Appleseedz shares in a roller coaster of tones and voices.

Using props as diverse as a large African drum, an abacus, a rayon dress and a squirt bottle, audiences are exposed to scientific concepts about earth materials - trees, water and air. All are integral parts of the public education system - important information in elementary school days and beyond. A bird's nest could wind up atop someone's head while another sports dark sun glasses and sings like Elvis.

pictureAppleseedz drops tidbits of biology to show how trees filter urban particulate pollution and bits of mathematics concerning the percentages of folks living in the urban forests of our megacities. He helps students gain a sense of the importance of their canopy's shade on dropping the temperature around us. Throughout the hour-long program, participants learn about trees, the value of trees, and why we should plant more of them. Appleseedz encourages the audience to care for the trees where they live.

Those who suddenly find themselves beside Appleseedz and in front of the audience generally blossom (or continue to bloom) in their own right. Student participation is what it's all about.

Appleseedz suggests that students leave the performance ready to keep a journal focusing on a certain tree, or speak to others about what they think of trees in order to open doors to an understanding about our fragile environmental footing and the vital role trees play in sustaining that footing. If appropriate, a tree is planted following the program.

Vocabulary and Concepts discussed:

*Respect  *Particulate Pollution  *Cellulose
*Urban Forest  *Photosynthesis  *Soil
*Heat Island  *Erosion  *Transpiration
*Air  *Water  *Trees  *Habitat  *Shade