Students in grades four to six in Muskoka will be learning more about climate change.
It’s thanks to a partnership between the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, and Climate Action Muskoka (CAM)
Sue McKenzie with CAM explains that each student will get two bookmarks, one for home and one for school, and will be taught curriculum prepared by members of CAM. “It’s just a few, simple lessons that introduce the topic of climate change and what we can do about it,” she says.
One part of the nine-lesson course will students research a young Canadian that’s taking action on climate change. She says the list is long but includes persons like the seven young people that took the Ontario government to court over its climate change plan and the young people involved in organizing the Fridays for Future climate strikes.
The curriculum is also available online, McKenzie says, so any teacher interested in using it can.
McKenzie is one of the multiple retired teachers that now volunteer with CAM, so she says they have been building towards this for quite some time. “We decided that part of our mandate would be to go after the climate emergencies with municipal governments, but also focus on the community,” she says.
Len Ring is one of the other teachers involved and he is behind the community carbon challenge, which is what caught the eye of the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO) District 46 Muskoka. “They really liked what we were doing with the carbon challenge,” McKenzie says.
RTO tasked themselves with creating a community project and one of the shortlisted options was climate change-related. After meeting and thinking of ideas, they put pen to paper and created the bookmarks and curriculum.
McKenzie says last summer RTO helped them distribute 7,000 bookmarks in Muskoka and they plan to do the same again this year. “We invite you to join over 100 Muskoka households in taking collective action by signing up to take the challenge to reduce your household’s carbon footprint,” she says.