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Christine Tortorella is a children’s book author who has published several books with music and a dream journal. All of the proceeds from those book sales go back into the foundation’s literacy program. Dobugshavebellybuttons.com features Christine’s stories and other artists and musicians. Christine and her daughter, Brittany, are currently working to publish a new story about a pelican named Stubby who was injured by fishing line left in the water by fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico (near Merry Pier Bate Shop on Pass a grille). The story, Stubby & Rusty, was written by Brittany for a master’s level class project designed to teach children and their parents how these animals are affected by what humans do and how we can prevent these injuries!
The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, located along the gulf coast in Florida, takes in injured animals like Stubby, treats them, cares for them and releases them when they can. When they can’t, they keep the birds at the facility. The Seabird Sanctuary rescues between 30-50 birds every day and feeds all of its animals about 450 lbs of herring every day!! However, due to the gulf oil spill and recent storms stirring up the water, fishing has become less productive, increasing the price of the fish. The Seabird Sanctuary is fundraising, with a goal of $100,000, what they expect it will cost to feed the birds in 2013 and keep the Seabird Sanctuary afloat.
For more information on the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, please visit seabirdsanctuary.com.
Stubby & Rusty is a story my daughter and I wrote about a Pelican that gets caught in a fishing line and hook that was simply left in the ocean! His poor little wing couldn’t get free, and his foot had to be partially amputated, and that’s why we call him Stubby! This is a real problem for Pelicans and much of the Gulf Coast wildlife, including dolphins and turtles. It’s important for you to know what you can do to help prevent this from happening to other Pelicans like Stubby.
When prevention efforts fail, places like Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary takes in these animals, treats them, cares for them and releases them when they can. When they can’t, they keep the birds at the facility. Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary rescues between 30-50 birds every day and feeds all of its animals about 450 lbs of herring every day!! That’s a lot of fish, and it’s getting more and more expensive to feed all of these birds. This and other animal rescue organizations rely on the help and donations of other animal lovers to take care of these birds. The Seabird Sanctuary is trying to raise $100,000 to feed their birds in 2013.
Christine Tortorella enjoyed the opportunity to work at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY with 12 young boys and their mentors, as they prepared to perform at the annual fundraiser in May.
The dinner gala hosted over 400 people and featured the boys art work, as they sang “Choose Your Stone,” written by Christine for the event. Children’s Village’s mission is to work in partnership with families to help societies most vulnerable youth. The boys and their mentors, under the guidance of teachers and volunteers, worked together for several months at their after-school program, on “good words” poetry and graffiti art, which was displayed on the big screen as they sang the song.
The Tortorella Family Foundation provided new sneakers and ties, which the boys wore at the event and were thrilled they got to keep as their own. The night was a success for the Children’s Village, as the Board of Directors, staff and guests watched these young people stand bravely and perform the song and poetry they helped create. Each guest was invited to take a ‘good word stone’ painted by the boys, from their table center piece, to remind them “we all choose” what we do to help others. For more information on this event and on the services provided to NYC area youth at risk, please visit www.ChildrensVillage.org.
Brittany Tortorella makes a special visit to read to the children. The children especially enjoyed listening to Annie and Little One, the musical story book about self esteem and friendship.
Miss Tortorella has a Masters in Childhood Education and is working in elementary education in New York state. She was a “reading guest” to Miss Sammi Arndt’s first grade classroom at Corr Elementary in Apollo Beach, Florida.
Brittany is working toward establishing a career in education and is developing a reading and writing program for the Tortorella Family Foundation.All the children in the classroom received their own copy of “Annie and Little One” and a story book journal to use in writing and drawing their own stories. The children were overjoyed to use them during their writer’s work shop time.
Christine Tortorella has written several books, which can be found at www.dobugshavebellybuttons.com. All of the proceeds from the sales of her books go back into the Tortorella Foundation to benefit literacy programs throughout the country. Annie & Little One is now available in hardcover. Click here to order.
It all started when I was going to school to be a teacher! I was taking a class at Dowling College in Long Island called Early Childhood Physical and Art Education. I was assigned a project to write an educational children’s book, and my mom and I started brainstorming.
We thought it would be fun to write a story from an animal’s perspective and educate readers on how they can help the environment. This particular story is from the perspective of Patty the pelican. I grew up in Florida, where there is a variety of wild life on land and in the beautiful ocean. My mom and I feel it is important for children to understand what they can do to preserve and protect nature.
We had wonderful time writing the story together, and I ended up getting an A+ in the class and on the rough draft of the book. Now we are trying to publish the story and put together the pieces of the book! Keep checking the website because every week you may see an update on what we are working on to get this book published.
Get Annie & Little One in hardcover by visiting http://www.lulu.com/shop/christine-j-tortorella/annie-little-one-hardcover/hardcover/product-18963133.html#ratingsReview.
Visit our downloads section (or click here) to print coloring pages and hear the Bug Beat or Old Dogs for free!
The story of Stubby & Rusty is true! It took place in a beautiful island in Florida called Pass-a-grille. Here are some real-life photos from Pass-a- grille, Merry Pier and the Sea Bird Sanctuary, where the real Stubby recovered from his injury.