MGCCC publishes new children’s book, “The Watershed and Me A-Z”

October 31, 2012

Watershed and Me A to ZWhat kinds of shoes do alligators wear when they do the alligator dance?  That’s a good question and one that is answered in the much-anticipated “The Watershed and Me A-Z” children’s book published by Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  The second in the series of “A-Z” books, it discusses the watershed of the Pascagoula River Basin. The beautifully illustrated volume teems with stories about the plants and animals that inhabit the streams, creeks and rivers that make up this incredible ecosystem, and highlights the interrelationship people and animals share.

Sandra Cassibry, visual arts instructor; Jeffery Jones, Graphic Design Technology instructor; and Kathryn Lewis, retired fine arts instructor, developed the book with community partnerships.  Collaborators included elementary school students, college students and faculty, and individuals from local, state and federal agencies.  Funding for the book’s publication was provided by Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, Harrison County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

“Creating and publishing this book has taken strong partnerships and a vision shared by the many collaborators,” said Cassibry. “That vision, to ensure that we all recognize the importance and fragility of the ecosystem in which we live, can be seen on each page of the book.  ‘The Watershed and Me A-Z’ is a celebration of our home and an invitation to all who read it to venture out and explore their surroundings.”

The book is completely original in its approach to the discussion of the watershed. Elementary-school students presented “wonder questions” and linocuts about the plants and animals in their own backyards.  Art and Graphic Design Technology students from Gulf Coast’s Perkinston Campus documented the flora and fauna through photographs and wood-block prints.  Gulf Coast science instructors and other resource professionals provided the scientific information.  Gulf Coast music instructors and students created the watershed blues song.

“This project is about the children,” Jones said. “They have inspired its creation and have provided many of the elements incorporated into it.  We want them to see, smell and hear the many creatures, both familiar and strange, that are represented within its pages.  We want them to recognize the relationship we all share with nature and hope that they are inspired to be good stewards of our home, the watershed of the Pascagoula River Basin.”

A lesson plan and music supplement the book for use in elementary school classrooms. The lesson plan was prepared by Kathryn Lewis and Althea Jerome and is aligned with Common Core Standards and Mississippi’s Framework.  For more information about a presentation of the book and lesson plan in third- through fifth-grade classrooms, contact Lewis at

The book is on sale through the MGCCC Foundation for $10.   For more help with purchasing, call 601-928-6344, or e-mail

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