Brooke Bessesen started Authors for Earth Day as a platform for eco-minded children's authors and illustrators to directly mentor their readers. Every year, participants scheduled an A4ED school visit with a focus on strengthening literacy and connecting kids to the natural world. They then donated their speaking fee to a conservation organization as directed by a well-researched vote of the students.
Many prestigious kid-lit authors paticipated in A4ED, including Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me), Andrew Clements (Frindle), Molly Idle (Flora and the Flamingo), Dan Gutman (My Weird School), among others. Indeed, the international coalition grew to 73 active authors and illustrators, with events in classrooms across the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, and Israel and donating a total of $108,644 to support 100+ conservation organizations worldwide.
Authors for Earth Day officially concluded on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020, although all participants remain committed to environmental education.
"Wow! You are fantastic! Thank you for the important work you do." —Cindy Eger, Cerritos Elementary