The students arriving at Barnes, the school offering to us their rooms, were greeted by the Ambassadors leading the Academy, Miko and Isaac, and newly appointed Ambassadors Denali and Joel.
Pam, the moderator, then started introducing Plant-for-the-Planet. Miko and Isaac gave the presentation “Now we children save the world”. Then, we listened to the great comments of Dr. Gregory Monahan, Chair of the Beyond Gas & Oil Team of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club. He shared his thoughts about what he had just heard & how we can work together, especially speaking about his own experience of the impact that youth can make when they testify at hearings. The children listened carefully to his experiences.
Then, we took a break and enjoyed a healthy snack to strengthen ourselves.
Afterwards we played the World Game, using old pearl-like beads to represent carbon, and large and small shells to represent people and wealth. The children already had some useful perceptions on the global distribution, but were impressed by the real circumstances.
Then, we turned to Rhetoric Practice and discussed what makes a speech effective and gave out the slides to the presenters with notes so students could practice giving small parts of the talk. Pam worked with the students to help each decide who would present which slides in the afternoon.
We shared a blessing appropriate for everyone and talked about the importance of taking only the food we know we can eat and making sure that nothing is wasted—that we can save leftovers and compost all that is left or can’t be eaten. All enjoyed the delicious food—pizza and other things like red licorice—that were provided by PTB members and Barnes.
We then went out to the beautiful garden at Barnes to plant our apple tree where it would be surrounded by another fruit tree, growing vegetables and a compost bin, They showed us where they wanted the tree, and Isaac explained how to go about planting a tree in the right way and the measures needed for him to survive. As the Academy students took turns planting the apple tree, everyone also took turns weeding the vegetable garden with the Barnes students who were working with their teachers as a part of Community Service Day.
Afterwards, we came back into the gym and the Ambassadors, volunteers, and Pam helped students to practice the “Now we children save the world” presentation for the afternoon slideshow. The presentation was attended by many families, and by Principal Veronica Jones and Assistant Principal Laurie Huntwork! The students did very well and impressed those attending with their presentation and the new knowledge, they gathered earlier in the day.
After succeeding in giving the presenation, students received their appointments as Climate Justice Ambassadors, along with certificates, the books Tree by Tree, and Everything Would Be Alright. And, of course, we got some great photos and videos. Not only did the Assistant Principal and Principal join us for the presentation, they then magically got everything cleaned up, allowing everyone to leave on time. It was also wonderful seeing students getting a chance to reconnect with former teachers and old friends.
We would like to thank all those involved in this wonderful Academy. The ambassadors Miko, Isaac, Denali, and Joel did an awesome job leading the Academy. Special thanks to Gregory, Amy, and Emily and to the generous support of the community volunteers who volunteered at the Academy and helped to make this a successful day.
We deeply appreciate the kind donation by Barnes Elementary, hosting us with its beautiful and welcoming spaces. Special thanks to Erica Timm of Friends of Trees Enterprise for the lovely apple tree and for Rob Vergun bringing it to Barnes the night before. And we appreciate the help received from many others.
Find more fantastic pictures here!