April + Earth Day Newsletter: Our story of adaptation

This morning, thinking about Earth Day left me feeling a deep sense of grief for the state of wildlife and nature globally. This, on top of the gloom of the pandemic. Yet I’m also finding great inspiration in how our communities have demonstrated the will to take swift and bold action to address an emergency. The remarkable stories of solidarity, adaptation and resilience in response to Covid-19 give me hope for our planet’s future. This is Be the Change’s story so far.

In mid-March, I called together our staff team and reached out to our board to discuss the new challenge facing our eco-social educational programming: schools are closed, and kids are homebound. We all agreed on a vision for Be the Change stepping up to support schools, teachers and students. Our goal: to be in genuine service to teachers during this exceptional and difficult time.  We envisioned creating a new collection of learning resources and activities to support teachers with online instruction and engage students remotely in authentic eco-social learning. Through a collaborative and iterative process, we developed the Climate & Connection Unit.

Since its launch on April 14, we are thrilled to share that more than 35 teachers have registered to use the Climate & Connection Unit. We’re hoping for at least 20 more by the end of the year! We are also fortunate to be working collaboratively with 5 pilot teachers in the planning and delivery of these resources in their virtual classrooms. We know we will learn immensely from this experience. 

The student Action Packs in the Climate & Connection Unit relate to two themes: protecting our climate and connecting to our values and to other people around us. Students are guided through research, reflection, and meaningful local action on 15 topics relevant to the themes. We believe authentic learning activities such as engaging their household in discussions on climate justice, auditing the energy usage from their home’s light bulbs, and cooking a vegetarian meal are more important than ever during these times. 

In the coming week, Be the Change will also be launching a series of experiential learning activities to supplement the Action Packs in the Climate & Connection Unit. At their core, these activities aim to help students connect deeply with themselves, their own values, and other individuals in both human and natural communities around them. They also aim to replace screen time with (safe) time outdoors and with their household! 

This story wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our donors. We do not intend to let this pandemic halt our impactful educational programming --  please consider donating.  

Warmly and with gratitude,

George Radner

Executive Director