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Climate Change is Elementary

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My project is Climate Change is Elementary [1] I work with elementary students, teachers and parents to put them on the path to understanding and taking action on climate change issues. I have tested this program in 17 schools in 5 states in the US. I am ready to train others to deliver the program.

The program takes one day per school to implement. It works at all levels from Pre-K through 8th grade. It is delivered by a trained consultant who has a love of kids, an ability to present a dynamic program, and extensive and continuing knowledge about climate, earth science, and education.

Here is how it works:

1. We start with a 30 minute teachers meeting before school in which we help teachers understand how the project can be continued after the consultant leaves.

2. The consultant spends the day in the gymnasium taking the kids one grade level at time in 45 minute back-to-back classes. Classes are all different and are geared to the age/grade level of the students and include peppy environmental music as the kids come in and leave. Kids sit on the floor. Each class gets a separate piece of the climate change puzzle. They watch a few slides on a particular subject, then they get up for a game or a skit, appropriate to the topic to bring home the information through movement and interaction. Then they sit again, see a few more slides and discuss the topic.

Topics include:

• Continental Drift, the discovery of microorganisms, galaxies and dinosaurs;

• The web of life in the tropical rainforest and the balance between plants and animals;

• Melting Glaciers, growing deserts and our friends the frogs;

• Hurricanes, their birth, growth, pathways across the oceans, and effect;

• Polar bears and the Arctic;

• Penguins and the Antarctic;

• The Carbon Cycle;

• Transportation before fossil fuels and now;

• Farming in 1900 and 2000, and the pathway of food from farm to plate.

3. We hold an all-school assembly at the end of the day when we put these pieces of the puzzle back together and tell the kids about Family Night, called My Earth, My Health. Kids take a pledge to become An Environmental Hero because we are the ones we have been waiting for.

4. Parents come back with their children in the evening for a one hour program. First the kids share what they have learned. Then each family creates a Family Sustainability Checklist that they then pledge to follow.

5. What we need next is a closed social network for each family where they can put up a profile and showcase their achievement toward their sustainability goals. Any assistance toward the creation of such a network would be greatly appreciated.

This program is financed by individual schools that make a contribution to our project under United Charitable Programs, a 501c3 eligible foundation.