McCloskey Elementary School Grade 4 Class Wins Youth Climate Activism Award

Category: District

Ms. Woodside’s Grade 4 class were awarded the Inaugural Inspirational Classroom Award by the Salt Spring Institute for Sustainability Education & Action (I-SEA) in this year’s Youth Climate Activism Awards.

“Students researched climate change and its many causes, such as deforestation and fossil fuels, before determining what they could do as a class and a school to make a positive difference,” said Ms. Woodside. “They decided to turn their attention to an issue that is directly within their control – reducing the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill.”

Students made posters and delivered presentations on climate change to every other class in the school to encourage all students and staff to be more mindful of what they are throwing in the garbage and to inspire them to reduce their waste. The students also wrote individual essays before working in small teams to put together group essays on the topic. The group essays were submitted for the Youth Climate Activism Awards, leading to the I-SEA creating a new award category, the Inspirational Classroom Award in recognition of Ms. Woodside’s leadership and the students’ work towards the betterment of the planet.

On Wednesday, June 27, Ms. Woodside and her Grade 4 students were presented with a $1,500 cheque from I-SEA for their efforts by Neil Stephenson, Director of Learning Services, Delta School District. The class has decided to donate the funds to support the creation of a school mural that highlights the importance of composting and recycling.

“I was inspired to get the class involved in this important initiative as it provides valuable learning for them in a number of areas including science, writing and activism,” said Ms. Woodside. “I am so proud of the class – they worked so hard on their individual and group essays, and thoroughly enjoyed giving presentations to the other divisions.”

About the Youth Climate Activism Awards

Hearing Greta Thunberg speak in Vancouver in 2019 planted the seed for the Youth Climate Activism Awards. The goal of the awards is to recognize students by way of their stories on what they are doing to make a difference for our planet, and to share those stories far and wide to inspire better treatment of our plant. The inaugural phase of the implementation of the awards was launched in the spring of 2022 for the 12 Vancouver Island School Districts. In 2023, the initiative was extended to include all youthful climate activists in British Columbia.