GDST is delighted to be partnering with Earth Warriors to help empower some of our youngest pupils to feel they can take meaningful action to combat climate change.
Following a recent BBC Newsround survey which found that 73% of young people were worried about the state of the planet and 19% have had a bad dream about climate change, the GDST has launched a PenPal programme in partnership with Earth Warriors, connecting classrooms nationally and internationally to discuss climate change and sustainability.
Over the four-week project, pupils have been engaging with activities which teach basic concepts around climate change, build a lifelong bond with nature and empower them to become Earth Warriors and make a difference in their local community.
Alongside the pupil programme, teachers are also upskilling themselves and completing training on how to approach teaching climate change to young children without causing anxiety.
Online Learning and Innovation Manager Amy Bailey, who is leading the programme at the GDST says,
‘Working with Earth Warriors offers our pupils a really enriching opportunity to connect and collaborate with classrooms across the world. Their empowering and solutions-focused curriculum helps young learners understand their efforts can, and will, make a difference to their planet. We know that climate change is affecting communities across the world differently and this programme offers pupils the chance to explore these differences first hand in fun, engaging and age-appropriate ways.’
Reflecting on the programme, Keya Lamba, co-founder of Earth Warriors Global says,
‘We are excited to partner with The Girls’ Day School Trust in a global collaboration to foster a community of Earth Warriors who feel excited about protecting our planet. Our mission is to tackle the climate crisis by empowering 2 billion children to take action through age-appropriate climate education, and we have really enjoyed seeing the exchanges happening between students that demonstrate this in action.’
This programme is one of many education projects which focuses on equipping our students with the skills they need to take climate action. As an organisation, the GDST is already carbon neutral and has set the ambitious target of reducing gas and electricity carbon emissions by more than 40% by 2030 and become carbon positive – contributing back positively to the environment – by 2050.
For more information about eco-anxiety, listen to the GDST’s podcast, Raise her Up, featuring Kathleen Hamilton, Programmes & Partnerships Director at Force Of Nature, a youth nonprofit who work to empower young people to turn their eco-anxiety into action. In this episode, Kathleen suggests ways for us to engage with our children and students to reassure, encourage and mobilise them, hopefully reigniting our own agency in the process.