My middle girls finished their studies on the rain forest, deforestation and endangered animals this week by creating message t-shirts. We have talked many times about the environmental impact of damaging rain forests. We have talked about how this affects animals living in the rain forest, and how because we are all connected their lives affect our lives. I like to think that my kids have a good understanding of the web of life, are compassionate to all living things, and that in our family we have meaningful discussions on important topics. But MBtP did something I didn't think to do: each girl chose one animal and made it "her mascot" for stopping deforestation and helping endangered animals. This simple step - making it personal - has gone a long way. And the culmination is a hand-painted shirt (artwork by each respective kid). They are proud of the shirts, and I believe feel more connected to their cause because of their work on the topic for the past few weeks.