Students from W. L. Seaton Secondary School and Vernon Vernon Secondary School were out in front of the Vernon Law Courts to make their calls for climate action heard Friday morning. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

School, community show CARE for Vernon

Climate Action Ripple Effect displayed at Seaton

The Climate Action Ripple Effect (CARE) program officially launches Monday at Seaton Secondary gym from 9-11:30 a.m., when six teachers, more than 200 students, and community mentors from all sectors meet to learn about creating projects that support Vernon’s Climate Action Plan.

“Mentors from each of the six topic categories will pitch their HeadStart ideas to students wanting a running start with pre-packaged projects,” said CARE organizer Jo de Vries, founder and CEO of the Fresh Outlook Foundation. “We introduced this approach after seeing some students struggle last semester with selecting a project idea and reaching out to community members for support.”

Climate-action project categories include nature/biodiversity, agriculture/food, energy/buildings, transportation, waste, and community resilience.

“We’re looking forward to compelling yet fun presentations from local climate experts and advocates who are building community capacity by sharing their experience and expertise with the next generation of climate supporters,” said de Vries. “I’m confident these mentors’ diverse passions and innovative ideas will resonate with students and mobilize them quickly for positive change.”

HeadStart projects range from senior students teaching elementary classes about climate anxiety, to teams researching endangered aquatic species, mapping pollinator needs in the Vernon area, creating a student-led climate-action social media campaign, building solar-powered devices, repurposing waste, and teaching newcomers about recycling and composting in their native languages.

“I’m thrilled with the growth in this program since last semester,” said Vernon School District superintendent Christine Perkins. “And we’re thrilled that more organizations and community members are stepping up to support the program with funding, expertise, and passion for healthy climate outcomes.”

FOF thanks the school district, the City of Vernon, Community Foundation of North Okanagan, Fortis BC, Associated Environmental, Sterling & Hansen Associates, and McElhanney for supporting this semester’s edition of CARE.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and outlined in the CARE Pitch Package.

For more information visit the CARE website and/or contact jo@freshoutlookfoundation.org.

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