I’m writing from Maine again. This week, we’re on the coast where, if we’re lucky, we can see the resident seal at the dock.
We’re here with my almost-16-year-old daughter, Simone, and two of her friends; since all their summer plans were canceled, our families created our own covid pod so the girls can spend this week together.
Simone has been best friends with these girls throughout elementary school, and it’s so cool to see them develop into young women.
Today, I’m writing to let you know about something that Simone and some of her other friends have created during the covid quarantine and to invite any kids in your life to participate in
These past four months, as school went online, Simone and three friends from the climate movement created Spring Forward, a youth-to-youth climate education program whose goal is “to empower students to become conscious global citizens through climate education. Understanding and acting on climate change and climate justice are critical not only for our generation, but for many more to come.”
This August, Spring Forward is offering FREE online workshops for kids age 7-13 on such topics as Oceans Rising, Activism 101, Renewable Energy, and Climate Justice.
What’s so special about these programs is that they’re all taught by teens—the lessons are educational, hands-on, and fun, and elementary-aged children can be inspired and motivated by older kids.
If you have children ages 7-13, or if you have grandchildren or nieces or nephews or friend’s children or students in your life, please let them know about these free 60- minute workshops. You can sign up for the workshops here: https://www.springforwardclimate.org/workshops
Over the past years, I’ve gotten increasingly involved in the environmental movement in large part because I was inspired by the younger generation, who seem viscerally to understand how urgent the climate and ecological crisis is, and who were taking on leadership roles.
When I was a teenager, I hadn’t even heard of climate change (though environmentalists and Exxon knew it was happening). As I got older, I had a spiritual connection to the natural world. But this younger generation has grown up with climate change and understands more deeply that there is no separation between nature and humans; that the climate crisis is not just something in the future but something that is unfolding now, in real-time; that it is especially affecting BIPOC, lower-income communities, the global South—and far North; and that social justice and climate justice cannot be separated. And rather than being overwhelmed by the climate crisis, they’re living the saying “don’t agonize, organize.”
On so many levels, it makes sense for youth to be teaching youth. Again, you can see more and sign kids up for these free workshops here: https://www.springforwardclimate.org/workshops
I’ve been incredibly impressed to see Simone become one of those leaders and come into her own voice. She and her generation give me hope for our future.