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May 13, 2021

Today's schoolchildren will face climate decisions we could never imagine - will they be prepared to act?

CALL TO ACTION: Support the Climate Literacy Act

As Rhode Island's leading environmental education organization, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island places great effort to teach children about the importance of a clean and healthy environment. Audubon reaches nearly 12,000 children each year, in almost every school district of the state, on the importance of the natural world.

We know children are the leaders of tomorrow and should be prepared to make decisions that will keep Rhode Island's environment green and clean.

The Climate Literacy Act (S 464 / H 5625) would require the RI Department of Education to:

  • develop a set of key environmental, climate, and sustainability principles to be infused into the learning standards in science and social studies;

  • disseminate lessons, activities, models, and materials related to the environment, including potential career paths;

  • ensure that all RIDE teacher professional development in science and civics and social studies includes these key principles and concepts; an

  • establish a "climate-smart" award program to recognize high-performing schools and a "green apple" award program to recognize K-12 teachers who provide high-quality environmental, climate, and sustainability instruction.

It is critical that the decisions of our future leaders are rooted in science and fact-based analysis. Rhode Island faces difficult choices ahead regarding the impacts of climate change, but there will also be opportunities for innovation. It is vital that our future leaders are educated and prepared.

Nearly 10,000 students graduate from Rhode Island high schools each year. Climate education helps young people develop the skills and knowledge to embrace our growing green economy, take individual and collective action towards addressing environmental challenges, and be civically engaged with climate and environmental policies. 

This Act has been sponsored by leaders in both houses of the General Assembly. The Senate Bill is sponsored by State Senators Lawson, Euer, Cano, Sosnowski, Murray, Seveney, Miller, Kallman, Quezada, and Lombardi. The House Bill is sponsored by State Representatives Cortvriend, Carson, Ruggiero, Ajello, Kislak, Donovan, Kazarian, Speakman, Ranglin-Vassell, and McGaw.

This 2021 Climate Literacy Act is endorsed by the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association; National Education Association Rhode Island; RI Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals; Environment Council of Rhode Island; RI Department of Environmental Management, Division of Fish & Wildlife; Audubon Society of Rhode Island; Save the Bay; and many others.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Here are a couple of easy ways to show your support for the Climate Literacy Act:

SAMPLE EMAIL

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Dear (Your Rep/Sen Here),

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in Rhode Island, and those impacts will only become more severe in the years to come.  However, there is currently no requirement when it comes to climate education in Rhode Island. 

The Climate Literacy Act (H. 5625 and S-464) would require the state Department of Education to develop a set of environmental, climate, and sustainability principles to be infused into the learning standards in science and social studies. 

Many tough decisions will need to be made in the future about how Rhode Island will deal with the various impacts of climate change, and it's important that our future leaders understand the many facets of climate change so that those decisions are rooted in science and fact-based analysis.

Please support this legislation and let's prepare our children for an uncertain future. The Climate Literacy Act needs your support. Thank you.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME & ADDRESS

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Thank you for your support. 

Meg Kerr, Senior Director of Policy

Lauren Parmelee, Senior Director of Education

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