Congratulations to April Flood for being this year’s Most Valuable Trainer! April has been working with PopEd to spread the importance of Population Education for over 15 years. PopEd staff and workshop sponsors speak highly of April and her skills as a trainer. I had the opportunity to interview April and learn more about what makes her tick.
How did you discover and begin using Pop Ed Materials?
April Flood: I discovered the Population Education materials in 2003 when my friend and colleague invited me to attend a Population Education Trainer’s Workshop. I went with Denise Reid to the training that day and have loved being a trainer ever since.
What made you want to be a trainer?
AF: Initially, I wanted to become a trainer because I love learning about new materials that I can share with my undergraduate students. Through the training, the newsletter and publications from Population Education, I have become aware of more hands-on activities that will teach students about the impact of population on our planet and that allow me to help educate future and current teachers of the cross-curricular resources available. It is important to share these easy-to-implement lessons with as many teachers as possible so we can help protect and heal our planet.
What is your favorite Pop Ed lesson plan?
AF: This is such an easy question! I love “Who Polluted the Potomac?” and “Who Polluted the River?” These lessons get the audience involved by having each participant take on a particular role and add to the contamination of a mock river. It allows participants to see that even what seems to be a simple task like washing your own car at home can lead to the contamination of the environment. Each person can have an impact on having a clean water supply.
Which groups are your favorites to train?
AF: This is such a difficult question! I love training the undergraduate students using hands-on activities. However, I have had the opportunity to share Population Education materials with the St. Louis Public Schools on three occasions and they are always so welcoming and eager to participate in the activities while learning about how they can integrate population issues into their current classrooms.
Do you have a memorable presentation you’d like to share?
AF: Of course, there are many memorable moments. One of my most memorable presentations was in August 2018. I needed to be in St. Louis to present in the afternoon. I had allowed for an hour to set up and an extra hour of driving time. I had not anticipated a golf tournament being in town that day that led to bumper-to-bumper stand still traffic. When I finally arrived at the school, I had less than 30 minutes to get ready. For this presentation, I was doing new activities for Secondary Education and I was really looking forward to integrating the activities and receiving feedback from the teachers. I was finishing setting up as the teachers came in for the workshop.
I knew everything was going to be great when one of the teachers said, “I signed up for this session because I really enjoyed your last presentation and was hoping you would be the one doing the training again.” All of the stress from driving and arriving later than anticipated immediately was gone. The teachers were engaged in the activities and were excited to learn about the new activities that Population Education had designed for Secondary Education classrooms. I was also doing a “water” activity with the teachers that led to the contamination of the “ocean.” The janitor in the building happened to be walking by as we were engaged in the activity. While all of the materials that are used in the activity are safe for the environment, it is always a concern of where to safely dispose of the contaminated water that usually has vinegar and oil in it. As soon as we were finished, the janitor immediately came into the classroom to see if I needed assistance in cleaning up from the activity. I couldn’t thank the janitor enough for helping with the clean-up. The St. Louis Public School District has been so welcoming and their teachers are always eager to learn and actively participate. The stress of the drive in the traffic that day was definitely worth the positive experience with their teachers and staff! It made it all worth it!