School children across South Florida will have the opportunity to learn about the state’s rich natural history from home, thanks to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum and author Harvey Oyer III. The organization and the children’s book author collaborated on two original videos for fourth graders and their families to enjoy via virtual classrooms. In the video duo, Oyer expands on the stories of The Last Egret and The American Jungle, two of the five books in the beloved The Adventures of Charlie Pierce series, which are often included in Palm Beach County’s Florida history curriculum.
Oyer is a frequent guest of Palm Beach County classrooms, where he reads stories about his great grandmother Lillie and her brother, Charlie Pierce, living as Florida pioneers on the historical grounds of the Jupiter Lighthouse and the shores of Lake Worth nearly a century and a half ago. South Florida teachers, who have been left with the task of creating engaging virtual classroom experiences amid shelter-at-home orders, can count on the adventures told in the video series to spark imagination.
Just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Oyer shares the adventurous tale of The Last Egret, where Charlie and his friends run away to hunt wading birds in the Everglades for their plumes. Ultimately, a later tragedy inspires the beginning of the American environmental movement and the legal protection of Florida birds, watersheds, and other national lands. The American Jungle video serves as a compelling glimpse into south Florida’s early pioneer history and the adventures Charlie has around the Lighthouse.
“I am delighted to be a part of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum’s creative and thoughtful initiative to partner with Palm Beach, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Collier County schools to bring The Adventures of Charlie Pierce to students around Florida,” Oyer says. “Our state’s children are currently stuck indoors but that doesn’t mean that they cannot go on exciting adventures and learn about Florida’s unique history and natural world. These videos will allow our children to continue their learning and their own exciting adventures through reading.”