Photos courtesy of Kristy Brophy and Alana Hall
Some local students want the community to know just how passionate they are about helping to combat climate change.
Students in grades five through eight from Huntsville Public School (HPS), along with members of Huntsville High School’s environmental club and its PALS (Practical Academic and Life Skills) program, marched to Town Hall on Friday, May 3 to share their message: the planet needs our help.
“(Climate change) is becoming a problem and eventually there will be no solutions so we need to act now before it’s too great of a problem,” said grade five student Margot Fleming.
The grade five/six classes at HPS have been learning about global issues, including climate change and how complex the issue—and the solutions—can be.
Grade five student Coen Turner said he’s concerned about what will happen if pollution and climate change are allowed to continue unchecked. As one example, he said, “Animals could go extinct.”
Despite the complexity of the issue, the students recognize that everyone can play a part, and everyone can speak up about it.
“I just want everybody to know that this is a really important cause and that everybody should be doing their best to help the environment because no person is too small,” said Fleming.
She said that personally she is “trying to use less plastic, trying turn off lights and power cables when I leave a room, and just trying to do as much as I can, because every person counts in this problem.”
Turner added that he does his best to reuse as much as possible so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill where it will contribute to the problem. “It’s really bad and the earth is dying because of us.”
Fleming said that most passersby reacted positively to their handmade signs—made from recycled materials, of course—and seemed to be supportive of their message. “Lots of people cheered, lots of people came and said hi. Lots of people rolled down their windows and honked for us,” she said. “There were a few people who rolled up their windows though, that didn’t make me very happy.”
Kristy Brophy, the teacher of one of the three HPS classes that participated in the walk, said that students had been inspired by other student movements around the world and “they really just wanted to raise awareness, and really wanted to say that it’s important, the environment is important, and they want to keep it healthy. And they want the leaders of the world to take action and cooperate so we can find a solution.”
“It was pretty cool to see their inspiration, their passion, their motivation, and their desire to make a positive change and to see a positive change in the world,” said Brophy, adding that the idea for the Walk for Climate came about through really passionate conversations in class.
“They were inspired and they feel empowered, and feel like they have a voice,” she said. “That’s really important because you want to keep that voice strong.”
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