ROCS Join Kids Worldwide to Raise Awareness of Climate Change

The vision of Red Oak Community School is to “foster our students’ sense of their place and power in the natural world and in their communities.” As such, it should come as no surprise that our students have expressed concern for climate change. This spring, following comments and questions from students around this issue, ROCS joined kids around the world to rally for policies to address policies to protect our planet. Our school was on spring break when the big school walk out occurred, led by 16-year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” school strikes to raise awareness of climate change. But we made up for it as part of our Earth Week activities.

To prepare for their rally on High Street just down the block from school, Miss Maureen shared information about Thunberg’s work, including her talk to the United Nations, and read books about climate change with the kids.

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Then it was our students’ turn to name their concerns and conduct research to learn more about the problems and potential solutions. The students learned how to use non-fiction books to research topics independently and in teams. They practiced taking notes from those sources and drafting text for research presentation posters and rally signs. For the posters, students drew from their research to share causes, effects, and solutions to the specific aspects of climate change they explored such as increasing production of renewable energy, reducing cars on the road, and limiting our consumption of animals. They learned about and were asked to use titles, headings, captions, graphs, maps, and text boxes to organize information.

Slogans for their rally signs were inspired by those they’d seen while studying the global Climate Action movement. Some were borrowed from those examples and others were original. The kids took to the streets with their signs, urging passers-by to honk their support for climate change policies.

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Like their counterparts in other places, ROCS students won’t stop learning about climate change just because this rally is over. They continued their studies with Miss Bethany, studying solar power, making their own solar ovens. And discussions have already began for the next rally which they hope will include a bus ride downtown to the state house in the Fall of 2019.