Climate Change education is a strong point of access for outdoor learning. Since climate change’s impacts are most apparent at the local scale, climate education provides a unique opportunity to link youth to the environment in their communities. There are successful models for climate education policy elsewhere in the US, strong existing networks of support and advocacy in Maine, and multiple frameworks for advancing this policy initiative. With the coronavirus crisis highlighting the necessityof resilience in our society, the importance of learning from current crises in order to face future ones has never been more clear.
This is an effort led by youth and supported by many allies. With youth climate groups already active throughout the state, youth voices and perspectives need to be at the center of this initiative to elevate the impact of the effort and build a broader campaign. Indeed, climate education has the potential to catalyze a large number of allies already working toward strong climate solutions for Maine. This enthusiasm is mirrored by the Maine state government where Governor Mills has highlighted climate change as one of her top priorities and has created the Climate Council and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future to focus on the issue. Schools and other programs that are already teaching climate change programming have valuable experience to share and will also be strong allies and advocates in helping all Maine youth receive the benefits of climate education programming.
There are powerful models for success that inspire us. In Washington State, with support from the governor and participation from a wide range of stakeholders, ClimeTime climate education policy has resulted in significant support for Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) professional development on climate change education, statewide climate curriculum, and funding for school-organization partnerships to deliver climate education programming.
Do you want all Maine youth to have access to climate change education?
Are you already providing climate change education?
Are you a Maine student who cares about climate change education?
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