A Wish for Climate Education in the New Year

We’re kicking off the new year like many others: with big hopes for 2024. This year, we resolve to further our aim of bringing climate education to every student and tackling the most pressing issue of our time: climate change. It’s essential that we build the tools and opportunities students need to confidently tackle a climate-altered future. Studies have shown that early exposure to climate science subjects empowers students to strive for careers in sustainability, science, and technology. Our 300+ partner schools are teaching climate science in their Hydroponic Classrooms throughout the school year, but it’s essential that ALL students have access to climate education. We have an opportunity to make this a reality in New York State with important legislation recently introduced in Albany – and we encourage everyone to get involved to make sure it happens.

To that end, we recommend residents of New York State connect with the Climate and Resilience Education Taskforce (CRETF). CRETF has spearheaded critical climate education legislation: Senator Andrew Gournarde’s climate education bill S.278A and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon’s companion Assembly bill A01559A. These bills propose establishing learning expectations on climate education and environmental justice in all public Pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools. The first interdisciplinary P-12 education bill in NY State, this bill also provides professional learning and ongoing support for educators, establishes an Office of Climate Education and Workforce Development, and centers equity and justice. Please check out CRETF’s Toolkit for Action and consider attending upcoming Albany Lobby Days. Residents of New York State can sign the memo of support, contact their Senator or Assemblymember via Action Alert, post graphics of support on social media, and most importantly, join a lobby day in Albany. Showing up is the first step in making meaningful change, and with feet on the ground and voices in the air, we’re feeling more confident than ever about the future of climate education. We’re growing the next generation of Farmer Scientists right here in New York City, but every child deserves a sustainable future, regardless of where they call home. Every post, donation, signature, and sign helps not just the NY Sun Works community, but the human community.

Like the plants nurtured in each Hydroponic Classroom, we’re growing onward and upward in 2024, with a host of exciting announcements to share over the next few weeks already. It takes a village to change the world, and as we all know, New York City is so much more than a village. Together, we can meet the moment on climate change, and provide the education our young people need to build the sustainable future they deserve. The best time to support a renewed vision for quality climate education was 20 years ago, but the next best time to get involved is right now. Please consider supporting not only our work bringing Hydroponic Classrooms to all NYC public schools, but also broader climate education initiatives that can help empower students not only in the big city, but beyond. With important legislation on the ballot, the time is now for New Yorkers to take action, get in touch with climate leaders, and through our actions, show the young people of today how to be the leaders of tomorrow.