In recent years, addressing climate change and curbing human activities that put our environment at risk has become a main concern for governments, businesses, and individuals who want to contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world. However, the youngest generations who will be most affected by the way we respond to the climate crisis right now often don’t have a formal voice in the discussion.
Children are too young to vote and can find it difficult for their opinions and concerns to reach the politicians who are making critical climate decisions. The Climate Museum, the first museum in the United States that is committed to mobilizing people to fight for an eco-friendly future, hopes to change this with a new initiative called Climate Art for Congress (CAFC).
Through CAFC, students from kindergarten to grade 12 will learn about the climate change crisis via this video curriculum and will supplement the knowledge they gain by researching their senators’ and representatives’ stances on environmental issues. In response to all that they’ve learned, the students create drawings and write letters expressing vocalizing their concerns about climate change. The Climate Museum then uploads all of the letters and art to its website and prints color hard copies to send to members of Congress.
A spokesperson for the Climate Museum, Samantha Goldstein, states that “CAFC was first launched in 2020 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as a way for young people to tell their representatives about the importance of including climate action in any economic recovery legislation.” She goes on to say that “A lot about the world and the potential for bold federal climate action has changed since we first launched, so we are relaunching the campaign this month with new resources for teachers, students, and young learners.”
Since the commencement of this initiative, over 500 letters have been sent. For parents and guardians who are unsure of how to address their children’s eco-anxiety, participation in this program and encouraging children to express their feelings through art and writing can help children alleviate feelings of helplessness and fear.
According to an art teacher in Brooklyn, New York, “Reaching out to politicians is an empowering way for [students] to take action with what they care about… a parent wrote to me last week to tell me how proud his child was to discover his ‘goat’ on [the Climate Museum’s] website!”
CAFC is open to whoever wants to participate and has had submissions from 16 states thus far. The hope is that the campaign will soon reach every state. If you’d like to learn more about how to incorporate this exercise in whatever at-home schooling or educational platform your child is in currently, click here.
Source Image: Climate Art for Congress