Helping Students Mourn Steve Irwin

In the days since the death of Steve Irwin, we’ve received a number of comments from DEN teachers about the difficulties their students are having dealing with this tragedy. According to news articles posted this week, psychologists have said that adults need to realize that for children, Irwin’s death has a similar impact as Kennedy or Princess Diana’s did for adults and we can’t underestimate the importance of helping them deal with losing someone that many young children felt personally connected to.

In light of that, we’d like to reach out to the students in the DEN community and provide them with an opportunity to express their feelings about the Crocodile Hunter by writing letters to the Irwin family to communicate their condolences and provide some thoughts on why the Crocodile Hunter was important to them.

If your class, or select students in the class, would like to contribute letters, please package individual letters in one package and send them to me at:

Betsy Whalen
Discovery Education
1 Discovery Place
Silver Spring, MD 20814

We will package all of our DEN student letters and deliver them directly to the Irwin Family through Animal Planet.

We’ll also keep you updated on the development of the the Crikey fund and other ways students may be able to participate to feel connected to the Crocodile Hunter.



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  1. Debbie Bohanan said:

    What an excellent idea! The students will love participating in this project.

    I was wondering if the Irwin family had received copies of all his shows? If not, I think it would be great if Discovery could bundle together a collection to give to his children so that they will always have his memory with them. Having a two year old son, I would want to do everything I could to make sure that the memory of his father would live on. Luckily, their dad has lots of video footage that be able to keep his memory alive.

  2. Betsy Whalen said:

    Hi Debbie!

    I’m glad you want to participate and I hope many students will. The Irwin Family does have access to his entire show library, but we will be keeping you updated on ways that everyone can contribute to keeping his memory alive. I will keep you updated on how things develop.


  3. Tom Turner said:

    Thanks Betsy for this opportunity for our students to cope in the grieving process. I’ve even tasked my 7 yr. old daughter to sit down with me and write a letter together. She’s been nonstop watching Steve since this horrible accident.

  4. Michele Futch said:

    Thanks Betsy! This is a wonderful idea. It allows the students to express their feelings and allows the Irwin family to know how much Steve meant to everyone!

  5. Dee Jonas said:

    Thanks, Betsy, for this opportunity. I put in the mail today over 100 student letters of condolence to the Irwin family. Your project idea gave our students the opportunity to express themselves and hopefully provide some comfort to a family who has experienced a tremendous loss. Steve Irwin explemified many wonderful qualities that our students admired. He will be greatly missed.

  6. Lori Mayberry said:

    I was so glad to find this information. This is exactly what I was looking for. I would like for my daughter’s 3rd grade class in Indiana to send a group card to the Irwin family. As a huge animal lover, my daughter was devastated by his death and we’ve been looking for a kind and loving way to express it. Thanks!
    Lori Mayberry

  7. Crystal said:

    My third grade class wants to raise money and donate it in Steve’s name. I am not familiar with the Crikey Fund. Is this something we could donate to? Please advise

  8. Moriah said:

    I am 12. Steve Irwin was my hero. I would like to write a letter to his family how do I do this?

  9. Samantha said:

    I was wondering if the Irwin family would be reading these letters them selves?

  10. Samantha said:

    I was also wondering if they will respond to our letters?

Comments are closed.