Sooper Yooper School Program


On May 5, Sooper Yooper author Mark Heckman presented an environmental program to the third, fourth, and fifth grade classes of Onekama Consolidated Schools.

Written to educate and entertain kids about the importance of protecting the Great Lakes, Heckman’s message is simple: When it comes to the environment, everyone can be a super hero!

Heckman’s visit was initiated by Portage Lake Watershed Forever (PLWF) Council vice-chair Mary Reed, who is also Onekama Township’s Invasive Species Committee chair.Sooper Yooper Book Cover

“Kids can make a big difference in the future of this watershed,” said Reed. “We have a responsibility to make sure they understand what they can do to protect and maintain it.”

Each of the classes received a copy of Sooper Yooper from the Watershed Council. Sooper Yooper tells the story of young Billy Cooper and his charge to protect the Great Lakes.

“Mr. Heckman wants to teach kids about taking care of our lakes,” commented Onekama third grade student Ella Acton. “Keeping the water healthy is our job, too.”

In addition, PLWF Mark Newman picCouncil is sponsoring an Environmental Art Contest for the students in these three grades. The student art competition with an environmental theme runs from May 6 to June 10, 2011, and aims to inspire kids to use their talents to ponder earth-related issues. All artwork submitted must be related to the natural world or ecological issues.


These works of art will be displayed at the Onekama Library during the summer and will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity and theme. The winners will be announced during Onekama Days at the Watershed Event Tent in the village park. There will be a $100 savings bond awarded as a first prize for the winners in each grade with a grand prize award of $250.

Mark Newman showing kids somethingNewman presenting to kids