2022 Grants Challenge

Climate Literacy: Youth Take Action

Every student deserves equal opportunity to take action for the planet. Let's commit to equity, innovation, collaboration, and climate justice. The Climate Literacy: Youth Take Action project will give K12 students in six new LAUSD virtual academies access to climate education and will empower them to engage in a year of education for sustainable development to LEARN (online climate learning with global experts), ACT (online community services days and community tree planting experiences), and LEAD (leading an online Youth Climate Showcase).


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

LAUSD and California have long led efforts around sustainable practices and environmental justice. In February 2022, the LAUSD School Board unanimously approved a Climate Literacy resolution. The resolution aims to enact a comprehensive climate literacy program for LAUSD schools and also covers education about environmental justice, green jobs, and correcting misinformation. The resolution calls for integrating climate literacy across all content areas from preschool through 12th grade. Resulting from COVID, many LAUSD students will be unable to attend in-person school. To serve these students, six new district virtual academies are opening as online schools. The district will run these six schools, and they will operate with new principals, faculty, and communities. The schools are seeking ways to meaningful engage students in collaborative, hands-on learning activities that keep them socializing and connected as a school community.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Through this program, Climate Literacy: Youth Take Action, Take Action Global will work together with educators to support youth to take action for the planet through STEAM learning experiences, inquiry, global collaboration, and community outreach. all in an online setting. Young people will be guided by world leaders in climate sciences to lead as scientists, storytellers, and empowered changemakers. To ensure that all students in LAUSD have equal access to climate literacy and project based learning across STEAM subjects, this project would support students unable to attend in-person school enrolled in one of the six new online virtual academies. As these are new schools, the project would support teachers with best practices in online instruction (how to keep students engaged and taking action as one community) and would empower students to act as community leaders in climate literacy as they develop a tree planting experience and online youth summit for climate (open to all). All activities would have links to social-emotional learning, for example as students research to identify a local keystone species (representative native tree or plant), they will be focused on RESILIENCE. What makes that tree or plant thrive even in harsh conditions? How is the plant resilient? What makes you resilient? What are your unique contributions to your community? The full year project will work through the lens of climate but will equally aim to support teacher and student well-being.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our work centers on empowering students and communities to take action for the climate and our collective future. Through projects, resources, and other innovative education practices, we support teachers in helping students be curious, learn about the environment, and make a difference in our world. This project would provide the needed professional development for school administrators and educators in the area of climate literacy--an area generally not developed for education professionals. A subset of LAUSD students attending new online virtual academies would be included as valued learners and empowered as leaders to develop and lead an online climate event open to all. They would be afforded the opportunity to do service in online settlings and would lead tree planting in Los Angeles. Los Angeles would be supporting citizens by focusing on equitable learning, community building, and climate justice and activism--a program for planet and for people!

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Take Action Global is the creator of the Climate Action Project, the award winning global collaboration project for international teachers and students. To date, over 2.7 million teachers and students have participated from over 145 countries bringing focus to climate education and the UN Global Goals since 2017. This grant would enable Take Action Global to expand its current work in climate literacy and with LAUSD classrooms to include teachers and students in six new virtual academies. Impact is measured in the following ways: - Teacher Self-Efficacy Beliefs (teacher pre/post surveys) - Caron Offsets (measured with Earth Project app for teachers and students to log activities) - Class Carbon Audit (pre/post project) - Behavior Change (measured in # and logged behaviors of students, family members, community members, youth, educators) - # of trees planted - # of participants Research base: https://www.takeactionglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/TAGResearchBase2022.pdf

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 20,000

Indirect Impact: 180,000