According to Rebecca Anderson, head of education and storytelling at Action for the Climate Emergency, parents and educators should start to talk about climate change with children as early as mid-elementary school. One reason? Because children are likely to hear about this existential issue from the media in a manner that creates misinformation and even fear.
Parents: Speak to Children About Climate
Of course, climate change is a serious and even scary topic to bring up with children, but if approached in a storytelling format it can be a constructive discussion. Ms. Anderson provides useful tips on approaching such discussions, including: keeping the conversation simple, approaching it positively, incorporating humor, and emphasizing the progress that is being made in the fight against climate change.
Young People: Speak to Parents About Climate
Ms. Anderson believes that young people learning about the changing climate can get their parents and family involved by bringing back to them what they have learned. With the topic of increasing global warming at the forefront these days, children teaching parents about this threat to Earth’s sustainability may be one of the most powerful actions students can take.
Mandate It in Schools
Interestingly, she contends that educational institutions should be mandated to teach climate change and in an integrated manner through both science and social science classes. In fact, the school can act as a real-life “laboratory,” with transportation, heating, and cooling systems that impact our climate. Starting with their own school setting, kids can learn and hone their activism skills for application beyond their schools.
CLICK HERE for AN INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA ANDERSON.
Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE), “an inclusive network of young people from all backgrounds in communities across the country”: acespace.org
Our Climate, Our Future, a project from ACE: ourclimateourfuture.org
Climate Parents/Sierra Club: sierraclub.org/climate-parents/resources-for-schools
Climate Generation: climategen.org