First the facts! Since science is not always a core curriculum subject in many elementary schools, The Global Warming Express (GWE) fills the gap with In-School and After- School Programs, which fulfill NGSS Science Standards, offering a solution-driven, positive, creative approach to engage students in the exploration of science, climate science and solutions.
Learning About Climate
The science education portion of the GWE program relies on the elegant “Sunlight Series” which are books by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm, that offer kids a fun and colorful exploration of how sunlight, wind, plants and “buried energy” have sustained the planet. Every class session includes practical examples of the science with an emphasis on participation by the students. The program is designed for kids to have fun while experiencing how to slow down, connect and truly learn.
Expressing What We Know – And Feel
During the first semester students are also introduced to and practice writing about what they have learned, public speaking and performing (song, dance) to express their thoughts, feelings and messages.
Small and Big Goals – Taking Action
After the winter break the focus changes to engaged action. Kids in each group are challenged to decide, as a group, upon a Small and a Big Goal which their group will work on for the second semester. Small Goals are typically actions that the kids can accomplish themselves, with some assistance, in a relatively short time. Big Goals frequently involve other people– like the Santa Fe plastic bag ban and 10-cent paper bag fee, the Albuquerque plastic bag ban and No Idling Zones- and may span into a subsequent year’s program.
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Meanwhile, during the second semester kids will have multiple opportunities to take part in actions, like marches, rallies, town halls, and events like Climate Justice Day where they are often key participants with their speeches or performances. Past events have seen them interact with elected officials like Secretary of State Deb Haaland, Senator Ben Ray Lujan, ABQ Mayor Tim Keller, mayors of Santa Fe and Las Cruces and former Senator Tom Udall, to name a few. Sometimes the GWE kids even take field trips to teach other kids- even high schoolers!
GWE is creating a movement of engaged youth climate leaders who will carry on listening, learning, connecting and slowing down inside themselves, while taking direct action, influencing policy and propelling their communities towards thoughtful change for a just, safe and livable world for all beings.
The kids leave GWE with a passion for solving this global problem, a confidence that their actions have made a difference and a commitment to continue to create mindful change.
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THE GLOBAL WARMING EXPRESS...
... is a By Kids / For Kids Think Tank Program for kids ages 8-12. The program is designed to be mentored by grownups, but powered by kids, who decide what Small Goals and Big Goals they want to accomplish.
The Global Warming Express is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, based in New Mexico..
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