Apr 25, 2007, 6:31 p.m. US/Eastern (WBZ) Global warming is such a huge issue that it can feel overwhelming, but a group of local kids isn’t letting that stop them.
They’re not only learning about climate change, they’re also taking action.
The children are part of an innovative after-school program from the Environmental Learning and Action Center in Cambridge, proving that even the youngest among us can make a difference.
They call themselves the “Planet Protectors.”
The session we visited was for a group of first, second and third graders at the Jackson Mann School in Brighton. They meet for ten sessions as part of a special hands-on class about the causes and solutions to global warming.
We asked them to tell us about global warming.
“Global warming is when the earth gets hotter and it starts melting ice,” said one boy.
Another defined it, “Global warming is when you save the earth.”
In this session the children use food to demonstrate how fossil fuels were created.
They layer pound cake, pudding and chocolate sauce and then squish it all down. They also get to eat their models, fueling themselves in the process.
They also learn what they can do at home to help.
“We’re supposed to turn off our lights. When we turn them on we’re burning fossil fuels, which causes the earth to get warmer,” says second-grader Sherry Tang.
In addition to learning about global warming, these young environmentalists also take action in their school.
They diligently search the hallways and classrooms leaving reminders when they find lights on or computers running, while leaving a “thank you” star when electricity is being conserved.
“It’s important because global warming is one of the crises of our times,” says Dr. Ricky Stern, the Executive Director and founder of E-Inc., the Environmental Learning and Action Center. “Kids are the people who will bear the brunt of this issue. Now they understand what it is, and they’re better armed to deal with it.”
The Planet Protectors program is operating in 13 schools in Boston and Cambridge, and by the end of the school year about 500 young people will have taken part.
More information about the Environmental Learning and Action Center.