Seattle Plant-For-The-Planet Academy
University Unitarian Church, Seattle WA
Saturday, May 7th, 2016; 8:30am – 3:30pm
For students in grades 4th – 8th
Once upon a time, way back in 2007, a 4th grade boy in Germany, Felix Finkbeiner, put together a classroom powerpoint report on the climate crisis. Inspired by “An Inconvenient Truth” and by Wangari Maathai, the nobel prize winner, Felix concluded his presentation, “I believe we children can plant 1 million trees in every country of the world.” Today, Felix is 16 years old and 35,000+ youth (and their families) around the world are working to plant 1 Trillion additional trees by 2020 — that’s the amount of trees required to absorb enough CO2 to restore earth’s climate during their lifetimes. Students direct the Plant-for-the-Planet Global Board with help from grownups. They partner with local groups and the United Nations to inspire us all to leave carbon in the ground now. Anyone ages 9 – 14 can attend a free one-day workshop (the Academy) to learn from other ambassadors,
Bring a water bottle and wear layers for the weather. Although we’ll be learning indoors much of the day. the whole group goes outside to plant a tree and for break times, whatever the weather. Families arrive to attend the end of day Graduation event when our new Ambassadors for Climate Justice show us what they’ve learned including their plans to restore our climate. The students graduate as new ambassadors when they announce their commitments to their families and a few students present the slideshow shared by youth around the world.
After the Academy
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassadors connect with schools and on local tree-planting events to build momentum to stop the climate crisis. Last year, we helped plant almost 9,000 trees. In Seattle ambassadors hold monthly Leadership Corps meetings at the Good Shepherd Center to plan actions. Letter writing from Ambassadors inspired college students to vote in Whatcom County, to help block a proposed coal terminal there. Local Ambassadors work with 350.org, Our Children’s Trust, Climate Solutions, and more groups speaking at rallies, at schools, to City Council, legislators and the Governor, and won a legal decision to make the Dept of Ecology do our fair share to combat global warming.
You can be part of a global children’s movement that is changing the world, “Tree by tree”.
Come learn to serve your community. Become a Climate Justice Ambassador.
At this free day-long workshop, students (ages 8-14 years old) join an international group of 25,000+ young people worldwide founded by a 9-year-old boy in Germany. The big day culminates in a moving climate presentation for families and the public delivered by the newest Climate Justice Ambassadors!
Watch this amazing video Introducing Plant-For-The-Planet. Now the official Tree-Counters for the United Nations Tree campaign, Plant-For-The-Planet is organized by children who work for a better future on earth. Their ambitious plan will change climate change for good.
We held 3 Academies in Seattle in less than one year for 190 students, and Wow, is it Fun! At a Plant-for-the-Planet Academy children learn the causes and effects of the climate crisis and how we can solve it. Children teach children to act as Climate Justice Ambassadors, who plant trees, talk to leaders, conserve energy and inspire people to act now for their future.
During the Academy children learn:
“Climate Justice” means all people, wealthy or poor, can only pollute the same amount; that’s fair. Wealthy people should pay to reforest the tropics, so poor countries can drink clean water, get food, and go to school without cutting down rainforests for money. Rainforests store carbon for all of us. We need to keep them growing!
Ambassadors get a free Plant-for-the-Planet T-shirt and the free book “Tree by Tree” so they can read more about planting our future.
Ambassadors pledge to take one climate action per month, whether it’s planting, giving a talk at school, writing a letter, signing a petition, or attending a monthly Leadership Corps meeting where students inspire one another to lead creative climate actions that make a real difference.
Plant-For-The-Planet and the Academy is always free for all children thanks to our Volunteers!
Reserve your place today! since space is limited. If you are like me — too old to be an Ambassador anymore — you can volunteer to help guide students as we explore this fascinating and important material. Please enroll to reserve your place as a student or to help out — organizing, leading, donating supplies or snacks. Sign up HERE!
Thanks to Neighborhood House for free use of a beautiful meeting room in a green building with a park outside! Thanks to Seattle Parks Dept for planting expertise and plants. Thanks to CoolMom, Healthy People Healthy Planet, Seattle Environmental Activists for handling snacks, supplies, publicity and encouragement for our Ambassadors.
“At Neighborhood House, we draw on a century of service to end poverty, build hope and help heal the world.”
originally published by J. Crapper on Nov 6th http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/06/1251345/-Plant-for-the-Planet-Growing-But-Let-s-Add-Fertilizer
Students 8 to 14 years old standing up in front of other students of the same age speaking with knowledge, clarity, passion and confidence about climate change.
Kids showing other kids pictures of young people their age in other countries shaking hands with world leaders, pop stars, and famous actors and actresses. Young people showing pictures of themselves speaking in front of city councils, mayors and crowds numbering in the thousands.
I spoke to an eleven year old girl waiting in line to take the stage to present her portion of the presentation. She looked me in the eye and said, “I’m a born leader.” She then took the stage and confidently delivered her message to the crowd.
A parent volunteer who told me she at first was not excited about being involved but her daughter’s enthusiasm had convinced her to get involved. She was so thankful.
Young people in the crowd boldly questioning and offering solutions to Washington State Representative Jamie Pedersen who dropped by to show his support and share ideas.
The day brought back fond memories of when I was a Middle School teacher.As a former Middle School teacher, with ten years experience teaching 5th, 6th and 7th grade, this academy reminded me of an elective I was allowed to develop and teach at Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok, Thailand called Teacher’s Aide. The elective introduced students to the field of teaching, gave them their own students to teach and the responsibility to design lesson plans, develop and administer tests, and give their students a grade entered into their official school record. All this was under the guidance of me as their elective teacher. It was extremely successful and both I and the administration were amazed at how mature, dedicated and effective the student teachers were with their own students.
In these Academies, much of the same is going on. Children who have already been trained in previous Academies, give speeches to a new group of children to teach them about the climate crisis and train them as “Ambassadors for Climate Justice”. Through group work and presentations the children are taught about climate justice and they also learn how to present these ideas to others in a confident and exciting way.
Michael Foster is the force behind this rapidly growing organization in the United States. His main focus is seeding the Plant for the Planet children’s initiative to other places as quickly as possible. He argues effectively that children have the most to lose and hold the greatest sway with parents, inducing their involvement in the issue. I’m trying to help him out. In Michael Foster’s own words:
Six years doesn’t seem like enough time to plant 1,000 billion trees, or to organize wealthy nations into paying impoverished nations for being green. But this volunteer-driven children’s movement is by far the most hopeful thing I’ve come across in 25 years of global warming news. How many environmental organizations have a 3-Point Plan to reverse global warming posted on their website? Simple and clear: 1 trillion trees by 2020, combat global poverty, and end carbon emissions. They’ve counted 12.6 billion trees planted in the last few years. That’s a start! Child Ambassadors hold absolute moral authority because when we grownups are gone, they’ll still be here. These children can change the conversation on climate from ‘whether it is happening’ to ‘What are you doing to protect my future? What are you doing today to stop global warming?’
I want every kid in the USA to have a chance to experience an Academy, to learn to speak out for the future they will inherit, while it’s still possible to make a huge difference.
Today the children need volunteers all across the country. What does it take to host an Academy for 80 students? People. Parents, retired teachers, college students, anybody can organize a day-long workshop for local kids in every town all over the USA. Let’s get a competition going to plant more trees.
We need our kids to tell us, ‘Stop wrecking my planet, right now!’ I know parents will listen when their kids say, ‘We shouldn’t drive that big SUV. I don’t think the earth can afford it. Maybe we should plant a thousand trees instead.’
Parents know we have to change our ways but we don’t want to short-change our children now, so we try not to think about it. But we’re failing our children treat them to a comfy life now, but don’t think ahead for them.
Foster uses the Photo Album test,
Imagine, looking back through a photo album in 20 years. The very things parents do today to privilege our children — pay for big vacations, big toys, a bigger house — these are the very things that our children are going to look back on in horror a few short years from now and say to us, ‘how could you do that, when you knew that Life was at stake?’
History of Plant for the Planet (adapted from website)
In January 2007, a German boy, 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner founded The Plant-for-the-Planet Children´s Initiative . While researching a climate project for school, Felix grew inspired by Wangari Maathai, who planted 30 million trees in Africa. In his class presentation, Felix ended by saying that he thought children could plant one million trees in each country of the world.
Since then Plant-for-the-Planet has grown into a worldwide movement. By the start of 2011 there were children participating in more than 93 countries. It has trained over 19,000 children from all over the word and that number is increasing rapidly.The United States has been a late comer to this children’s movement but that is about to change. The ripples Michael Foster started are beginning to feel like waves! He’s looking for others to assume the role he’s taken on in Seattle.
The program has all the elements to be successful and spread quickly. Here’s why:
1. It involves those most affected by climate change – young people. It provides them with the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to carry the message to their peers, parents, teachers, politicians and community business leaders.2. Peers listen to other peers. It’s the power of peer pressure put to work.
3. It involves parents with their kids future and educational development. It motivates them to get involved in climate change action as a result of that involvement. It is hard to ignore your children.
4. It involves teachers always looking for creative and innovative opportunities to engage their students in order to teach them valuable skills such as leadership and public speaking.
5. It involves politicians. It is hard to ignore a young person knocking on your door or asking you a question if you are a public figure. They know if they do their parents, whom they need to vote for them, will not forget.
6. It involves community business leaders always looking for good PR opportunities in order to portray a caring partner image to their community of customers.
7. It attracts the press. Young people doing amazing things always attracts the cameras.
8. And finally, and most importantly, it gives all involved a tangible, realistic way to get involved and move forward with a feeling of hope and empowerment.
To begin the process of organizing your own Academy the best place to start is at the Plant for the Planet website. Here are some key places to visit.
2. Pictures to choose from for slideshow presentation (power point) (takes some time to load but worth the wait). These pictures are used as visual aides to assist students oral presentations.
This is a YES WE CAN program bubbling with the optimism that only youth can bring to the table. We need that energy in the environmental movement. It’s time to Stop Talking and Start Planting. It’s time we join and assist in any way we can these young Ambassadors for Climate Justice.
Michael Foster: A mental health therapist and father in Seattle. Mike always had an interest in the impacts humans have on the health and welfare of our planet. From his childhood in Texas, where he grew up in the shadow of oil refineries, he has always been aware that we have the ability and the obligation to be positive stewards for the Earth – not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
Mike is a speaker for the Climate Reality project, the Al Gore initiative, and volunteers his time to present “The Slide Show” to any and all interested groups. His particular focus is exploring the ways that families can work together to reverse global warming and create a sustainable future.
Michael Foster is ready to help anybody interested in organizing and conducting their own Academy.
One week after the October Academies, dozens of Ambassadors and families turned out for Seattle Parks’ Green Seattle Day to plant trees and restore the urban forest. But a windstorm kept us from going into the woods. Only a few places were safe to plant in clearings and along roadways.
So far you’ve told me of 70+ trees that our ambassadors planted during the big storm last week. Congrats! on getting so many trees in the ground in a storm! One week later, ambassador Torin and friends planted another 25 trees.
Plant For The Planet Academy, October 26th, 9am – 5:30pm
Free for all students ages 8 – 14.
2 locations: Jane Addams School & MLK Elementary, Seattle WA
Imagine planting a million trees, what you would feel like, how you would change the world…?
Now get started! 160 students ages 8 – 14 from area schools will train to serve our community as Climate Justice Ambassadors! Worldwide, over 19,000 students have attended this fun and educational Academy training to join forces worldwide as leaders of the Official Tree-Planting Campaign of the United Nations.
All participants receive:
The following weekend we celebrate in parks with hundreds of families to launch Green Seattle Day, the first day of tree-planting season in Seattle! Ambassadors can invite friends and families to come plant thousands of free trees sponsored by Seattle Parks!
At the Academy, we play experiential games to understand how our world needs care, learn to plant a tree properly, get a photo with local leaders, and rehearse an amazing slideshow on Climate Justice. We conclude the Academy by presenting the slideshow to invited guests and take a graduation photo.
Students, age 8 – 14, who care about our future and want to start a “tree-mendous” transformation of our planet, please attend this one-day workshop on October 26th.
At 4pm, families and invited guests come see the student slideshow presentation at the conclusion of the Academy. Make plans to attend with the whole family to experience this powerful work from the world’s newest Climate Justice Ambassadors!
Thanks for support to the Seattle Parks Dept, and Coolmom for help making this a free event, open to all students!
To learn more, go to the “About the Seattle Plant for the Planet Academy” page. Questions? Contact us below in comments.
Plant-For-The-Planet and Wangari Maathai are the stars of the blogathon this week at Daily KOS. The article gives you a good introduction to Plant-For-The-Planet, even though it focuses on my volunteer work getting the group started here in Seattle.
Take a minute to read the article and spread the word to friends who might not have heard of us, and who might want to get involved and volunteer to start a Plant-For-The-Planet Academy in their neighborhood. The goal is to see Plant-For-The-Planet changing the conversation across the country this year. Everyone who hears about this group is amazed and inspired, and often offer to help out. Who do you know who can help? Maybe someone who hasn’t heard of the 1,000 Billion Tree Campaign?
If you’d like to volunteer with Plant-For-The-Planet we have so many good things that need doing.
In Seattle we’re holding a volunteer training on October 5th at Camp Long in preparation for our next Academies. To sign up or find out more leave a comment here!
Watch our Ambassadors introduce Seattle City Council’s Energy & Environment Committee to Plant-For-The-Planet and get down to business. In their first public appearance, 8 Ambassadors share the famous slideshow, originally developed by Felix Finkbeiner, but with special information for Seattle City Council. And then they make some big requests!
They told the Committee how many trees Seattle residents need to plant by 2020 to help us buy time and absorb excess CO2 this century, (hint: it’s a lot!) and some ideas for how to get started.
How did the Council respond? Well, find out in the 20-minute Q & A following the presentation!
Click to view City Stream: Plant For The Planet Academy a 5-minute video report on the first Academy in Seattle.
City Stream is a local news program on the Seattle Channel. The program broadcasts during the week at regular times. Check local listings. Writer and producer Feliks Banel came out to Golden Gardens and put together this wonderful piece to show people what goes on inside Plant-For-The Planet Academies.
Would you like to host an Academy for your town? It’s an amazing way to change the world, rewriting our future, 80 students at a time. And it’s a big commitment, but much easier than you think. I am putting together materials now based on the success we had in May to make it easier than ever to replicate where you live. A handful of dedicated volunteer/parents can organize a profound day of learning that can return a lifetime’s worth of good.
Contact me below to find out more about how to host an Academy!