Healthy Climate Communities has a vision that all children that attend elementary school in Kailua will achieve a basic understanding of climate change appropriate to their age before graduating. Each school can choose the grade that works best for them, and it is hoped that participation in the program will become a tradition and expectation for children as they approach that grade.
Many adults were educated before much was known about climate change, and may be confused by the misinformation propagated by self-interested industries and politicians. We want to change that situation with the next generation and to reach parents through their children.
Elementary School Workshops
Lisa Marten conducted 42 workshops with elementary school children ranging from 2nd to 6th grades, most of them during the Fall of 2016. The curriculum and the materials have evolved as she learned what worked (and what did not) with different ages. While the teaching methods and the level of detail changes with the age groups, two sequential workshops are conducted for all participating grades with the following units:
- the causes and consequences of climate change, and
- land use change, climate change and the impact on native species.
The workshops are interactive using games, role play and coloring to teach the concepts in an age-appropriate way. Almost all of the curriculum was generated in-house and materials were made by artist Tara Spagnoli. Efforts are made to keep the size of the groups to a single class, to better track the level of comprehension of all students and allow greater participation.
At each participating school, a talk has been offered to the parents to teach them briefly about climate change, to explain the program, and to invite them to participate in restoration at Hamakua Marsh. Where schools opted out of the talk, videos made during their own children's workshops were used instead to briefly educate and invite the parents.
Ad Hoc Talks
In response to requests, talks were also given to groups of youth at Punahou School, Le Jardin Academy, and Serteens (a service club).
As a member of the Windward Climate Change Hui, Lisa was a co-organizer of a symposium almost 200 people in attendance, 6 speakers and 10 different groups with work related to climate change hosting booths. Video links to the talks and other useful information is available here.