Five Fifth Grade Students Take Action to Combat Climate Change

In the Middle School, environmental action and an entrepreneurial spirit have come together in the efforts of five fifth graders who want to make a change. After learning about climate change and its increasing impact on our planet’s future, Annabelle B. ’26, Madison D. ’26, Margaret T. ’26, Drew H. ’26 and Ariella A. ’26 have spearheaded a bake sale to fundraise for the National Resources Defense Council. Founded in 1970, the NRDC is a United States-based, non-profit international environmental advocacy group that works to ensure all people have access to clean air, water and healthy communities.

It all started last fall when Middle School technology teacher Damian Giorlando was teaching students how to create a visual representation of data using Google Sheets. As an example, Mr. Giorlando gave students a data set illustrating average global temperature and atmospheric carbon saturation per year beginning with the Industrial Revolution. “A group of students became really disturbed by the trends they were seeing in this data and decided to take action,” Middle School science teacher Jon Olivera explained. Annabelle B. said, “I think this bake sale is important because kids are the next generation, and we need to teach kids to help the environment. We need to inform kids about the dangers and how to be environmentally friendly and help the world.”

“We think it's important to get the word out about climate change to kids now, so later they are aware of this problem. One person might be able to make a difference, but it will be easier if we all come together and solve this problem,” said Madison D. ‘26.

“I think it is important to make the children in the school aware of the problem and how  damaging it could be later in our lives or the lives of the next generation. If they know that when it comes to making a difference age doesn't matter, maybe they will be inspired to have fundraisers of their own,” said Drew H. ‘26. 

Mr. Olivera himself is very passionate about advocating for climate change research and mitigation. “While major cultural, economic and political shifts are needed to truly begin mitigating the effects of climate change, there’s many things our community can do in terms of small day-to-day changes that can help in this important fight,” Mr. Olivera said. From swapping out plastic straws for paper ones, to opting for reusable water bottles, simple shifts in behavior and decisions can make a big impact — especially if the lessons are learned at a young age. “The younger you are, the more this issue will impact you,” Mr. Olivera said.