Looking Up To Kids: An Introduction
In elementary school, I learned only the basics of environmentalism — recycle, carpool, use both sides of your paper, and take shorter showers. Once in Grade Two, my teacher gave all of us trees to take home and plant. But besides a few school presentations, that was all that made up my early environmental education. That’s nothing compared to some kids these days!
Born and raised in Edmonton, it has always been apparent to me just how small I am. When I was a kid, I wondered how I could make a difference when I shared my home with thousands of people? Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. It’s clear to me now that children can do so much and that we adults often need to look to them to point us in the right direction. The way they approach environmental initiatives, with so much enthusiasm, it makes me wonder why I ever felt helpless when I was their age. What is it about the children of our communities that allows them to make such progress with their green efforts? What gets some kids so environmentally active and engaged that they deserve the recognition of an Emerald Award?
With this in mind, I decided to focus my articles on some remarkable environmental leaders in our province who just so happen to be children. I spoke with teachers from two schools who have both received Emerald Awards for their impressive work towards taking care of the Earth. The first school, Clandonald school, shows the big impact small-town kids can have on their local environment. The second school, Aspen Heights Elementary, shows what happens when you empower children to take environmental action on their own.
After learning about just how far these students and their teachers are willing to go to help the planet, I’ve been inspired to up my game and take my environmental responsibilities more seriously. I hope you feel the same after reading about these amazing, Emerald Award-winning kids.
(Photo provided by Geralyn McCormack)