Curb Climate Change : Focus on Deforestation

  • Location
    Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Status

The Problem

Project Wish: To raise student and community awareness about Climate Change, with a particular focus on Deforestation and how it impacts indigenous peoples, wildlife, air and water quality. Deforestation is a key Climate Change contributor, and there are positive action steps Kids for Positive Change students, in Ashtabula, Ohio, and Bronx, New York, can take, to curb deforestation. We teach the students that we are all connected, and this project, like past projects focused on plastic pollution, will show students that deforestation in the Amazon and Indonesia, not only impacts indigenous people and wildlife in those regions, but impacts them and their part of the world as well! When students make the connection between deforestation and their own actions, aka, what we do "here," matters "there," they, along with their families and community members will be empowered to create positive change!

Our Plan

Kids for Positive Change is launching a "Choose a Platform" Initiative which lists various Climate Change Contributors. We will engage students with an interactive presentation about Climate Change and emphasize how deforestation is a main Climate Change Contributor. The KPC program will highlight palm oil plantations, cattle ranching and mining for metals used in mobile devices, as key problems associated with deforestation. Each problem will align with JGI Campaigns, like the Sustainable Livelihood Program and feature One-Click Campaigns, #EatMeatLess and #ForestisCalling. Students will learn how deforestation impacts not only indigenous communities and wildlife, but because it is a Climate Change Contributor, impacts their community on a local level. One example: Northeast Ohio is experiencing excessive rain which is impacting local farmer's crops. Students will partake in a "Walk in Their Shoes" assignment, where each student will "become" a person or animal that has been impacted by Climate Change, emphasizing those impacted as a direct result of deforestation. Students will study foods containing palm oil using the Cheyenne Zoo Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping App. Students will launch a school-system wide and family-wide survey to learn how many students, parents and teachers are aware of palm oil, how many eat meat and how many upgrade their mobile devices on a regular basis. This survey will extend into the community. Students will share their knowledge with their families and community members through Classroom-Community Action KPC events, City Council meeting and Board of Education Meetings and call for community action! Students will work individually or in Think Tank Teams and develop solutions for the deforestation problem and take action by implementing solutions throughout their school and community. Possible solutions: Writing to local supermarkets about carrying products made with sustainable palm oil. Using the Sustainable Palm Oil App when shopping. Use student-created shopping list of foods that contain sustainable palm oil. Implementing Meatless Mondays at School and Meatless weeks at home! Pledging to use mobile devices until they are spent and then recycling them, instead of upgrading.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Community Enhancement
  • term icon
    Indigenous Rights
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The Benefit

Here is how the project went:

The project was a success! With the Australian wildfires, kids chose to create a fundraiser they named, "Sending Love from Ashtabula to Australia." The focus of the fundraiser was sharing knowledge about deforestation, climate change and the connection to wild fires. The kids had a table at a local grocery store and restaurant where they interacted with the Ashtabula community. They also had an information table at school. For one week, during lunch, kids sat at the table and raised awareness via a slideshow and flyers they created. Kids created a "paper chain of love." Each paper chain link was $1 and kids and teachers put their names on the paper chain links. In total, they raised $1k for the Australian wildfire relief funds AND garnered much community attention and raised awareness!

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned how much people want to be engaged and help. So many people thought the kids were simply asking for money, when they had their table at the local grocery store and restaurant. When they understood the kids were raising awareness, via a slideshow they created and presented, and flyers/posters, people stopped and were engaged. They asked questions. They took pictures. Some even went home to get cash and returned with their donation!

What I/we might change:

Time. It always seems to boil down to time. Coordinating drops off and picks up with parents, meeting with the kids after school to prepare for the project... but, in the end, we got it done!

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Linking the paper chain, displaying over 300 student and community member names, together, and hanging it in the school hallway!

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Stay as organised as possible. With 2 local community action events and one, week-long school event, an organised schedule, was the key to success.

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