This summer, we created the Climate Education team to expand climate change education in New Haven public schools and to encourage schools to to make changes that cut greenhouse gases in their everyday operations. While NHPS’ implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards is a step in the right direction, and there is some climate education in NHPS, we believe it is imperative that students gain more exposure to this topic.
An enhanced curriculum would include a sufficient understanding of the climate crisis and its impacts on the environment. The Climate Education team has put together a proposal for Climate Justice Schools to provide students with the education and skills to address this crisis, which we will present to the New Haven board of education.
Climate Justice Schools
Climate Justice Schools are those that respond to the Climate Crisis with education and action. The Climate Justice School program supports school efforts to incorporate climate change and climate justice education, climate solutions focused community service hours, project-based learning, a Climate Week in April, and Meatless Mondays in their programming.
The Climate Justice School program recognizes the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities and future generations and actively works towards curbing the human cost of a changing climate while creating healthier communities.
The benefits of Climate Justice Schools (CJS’s) reach far beyond the classroom and out into the greater community, and include:
Climate education that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and has local benefits such as improved public health through transportation, food, and energy education.
In-school climate solutions projects that empower students through giving them leadership opportunities to improve their community, work with teachers to engage in difficult problems, and formulate solutions.
Classroom activities that explore climate justice and equity issues at a time when many communities are confronting racial injustice.
Prepares students for a changing future in which there will be a massive shift to clean energy technologies, and significant investment in climate resiliency.
Opportunities for students to tap into an issue they are passionate about and become educated on this issue, which will open doors for future career choices.
The Climate Health Education Project (CHEP) is a New Haven organization that provides resources for teachers and students to integrate climate change education into the classroom. Check our the CHEP website for a vast list of climate related programs, activities, and lesson plans.