Children at The School at Columbia University study student-led social action and earth science throughout all grade levels. In addition to units of study throughout the year that cover direct action students can take to bring about change, as well as environmental practices necessary for the future of our planet, students will participate in activities, conversations, field trips and events that align with the historic Global Climate Strike occurring Sept. 20-27, 2019.
In the Primary Division, Kindergarteners will visit an apple orchard with their families and teachers to hone an appreciation for nature and the environment. First graders will visit nearby Riverside Park and learn about the social action New York students are leading as part of Climate Strike N.Y.C. Second graders will also discuss the strike events happening throughout the city, and continue their study of sustainability and environmental stewardship.
In the Intermediate Division, students are having conversations about the climate strike in Science class and during iBlock activities. Drawing on prior knowledge from their second grade Science unit on alternative energy, Gr. 3 students discussed the issues and, inspired by youth activist Greta Thunberg, they then designed t-shirts with their own messages of support. They will wear their shirts to school and out in the world to spread their messages of support.
The Middle Division is focusing on cultivating environmental activism and awareness in students. The Middle Division Student Government, faculty, and staff believe this movement transcends just this week, so they are developing an array of opportunities for interested students to engage and be stewards of their environments: developing materials and posters to promote environmental awareness with younger students as well as the parent/guardian body; planning a visit to the United Nations for a delegation of students and faculty to address key environmental issues; taking part in environmental service projects connected to curricula and to environmental organizations around the city over the course of the school year; and finding ways to promote and strengthen The School’s recycling and composting programs and their impact on our carbon/waste footprint.
These ongoing important conversations and activities will continue in tandem with the Global Climate Strike and beyond, throughout the curriculum and for the duration of the school year.