Area second and third graders are being invited by the Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District to join in a educational and musical event next week at The Ritz Theatre.
"Be Wise, Love the Earth" will be at 10 a.m. May 22. Students from Tiffin, Buckeye Central, Old Fort, Mohawk, St. Wendelin, Seneca East, New Riegel, Bettsville and Calvert schools, Bridges Community Academy and area homeschoolers are to attend.
"This event is designed to engage, focus and reward students by moving to music that will complement and cement the science and environmental literacy skills they have been learning all year and have fun," said Beth Diesch, SSWCD education coordinator.
The event is to feature Chip Richter and the Munks performing a collection of songs that address life, earth and space science and encourage individuals to be good stewards to the environment.
Richter and the Munks, consisting of Brad Shell, Greg Aker and Marty Cummings, are from northeast Ohio.
Richter describes the type of music he and his band plays as "folky pop oriented ... with a bit of a blues thread here and there."
Kids and families were not the first choice for Richter. He began playing and writing songs in the context of worship and worship service. The first time he played for children was at Lakeside.
"I truly love what I'm doing and consider it an incredible honor to encourage parents and be part of a child's growing up years," Richter said. "However, it didn't happen overnight for me. In fact, in the beginning, I must confess, I resisted the whole idea of being a singer-songwriter for kids because I wanted to be a serious artist and, in my mind, that couldn't happen in the world of kids' music."
They have been playing for 20 years, Richter said.
"I make a very conscious effort to create a fun, safe and smart all-age 'live' musical experience for the kids and families who come to my shows. So far, the feedback I've received tells me it's working."
The event was provided by grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca County Solid Waste District. Donations also were provided by The Ritz Theatre and SSWCD.