Me and Green, a Children’s Book About Sustainability, Available Now!

Jacksonville Business Journal, November 2, 2009

Breaking Ground Education Services, a division of Breaking Ground Contracting, headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, is pleased to announce the launch of Me and Green, a book about sustainability for children written by Mary Tappouni, Catherine Burkee and Therese Tappouni, is released for distribution.

After spending more than a year educating the construction industry about sustainability, Breaking Ground Contracting Co. is expanding its education services to the next generation of sustainablity experts.

Breaking Ground owner and President Mary Tappouni, along with her sister Catherine Burkee and mother, Therese Tappouni, have written a children’s book called “Me and Green,” to teach children from kindergarten through third grade how they impact the environment and how they can improve it. The three hope the book is just the first in a series aimed at teaching children how to be environmental stewards.

“Our core vision is really about reaching out to the broader community about being green,” said Mary Tappouni, Florida’s 2009 Small Business Person of the Year. “We know that kids are really the best teachers, so we knew that would be a great place to start.”
The vision for the book was Tappouni’s and she contributed her expertise on the construction industry and sustainability issues, and enlisted her mother, who is a published author and a clinical hypnotherapist, to write the content, and her sister, an elementary school educator, to make sure the book was written at the appropriate educational level.

“We all have a similar philosophy about the world,” Therese Tappouni said. “So it was easy to put the project together.”
Construction might be her business, but sustainability is Mary Tappouni’s vision for her 12-year-old, Jacksonville-based company. She hired her sister Catherine, who has a master’s degree in education, as director of Breaking Ground Education Services to help educate others in the industry about sustainability.

Burkee spends much of her time teaching test prep courses for designations in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the National Center for Construction Education and Research; training courses for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and continuing education courses, professional development courses and corporate development courses for clients through the University of North Florida.
Those classes and training programs will continue to be the core of the education services division, but Burkee said her hope is to get “Me and Green” and possible successor books at the pre-K, middle-school and high-school levels into the environmental education curriculums of public, private and Montessori schools. Burkee also hopes to start a charitable foundation to benefit children. “It’s a pretty big vision,” Burkee said. “But it’s part of diversification, too.”

“Me and Green” was published in the U.S. by The Peppertree Press and printed on recycled paper with soy ink. It comes complete with a teacher’s aid page; a glossary; suggested activities for parents, teachers and children; and Web site suggestions. The first run of the book, 2,000 copies printed in mid-October, is selling through for $14.95 a copy.

Tappouni and her co-authors are hosting an official book launch event at the main branch of the Jacksonville Public Library Nov. 4 at 5:30 p.m.

View the online article here

Breaking Ground Contracting | 4218 Highway Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32254 | 904.388.1350 | F: 904.388.3440 |