Queensland Guardian service joins in with Brisbane Strike 4 Climate march
Children and educators from Guardian Childcare & Education Charlotte Street joined with over 30,000 others in the Brisbane CBD on 20 September at Queens Garden for Brisbane’s School Strike 4 Climate march.
Lead Educator Stephanie Costa said the service believes children “are global citizens with rights – that they are strong, rich, and capable of understanding and contributing to complex issues that affect them”.
This belief, she said, aligned with the core messaging of the strike – giving voice to young people in the fight for climate justice.
“There is no one that will be more affected by the decisions made surrounding environmental infrastructure than the children in our care, and I felt it was important that they understand the power of their active involvement in issues such as this,” Ms Costa noted.
When the intention to hold a global strike was announced, Ms Costa and others in the team spoke with the children, and gave them the option to attend.
“For the past 18 months, the pre-kindergarten children at Charlotte Street have been engaged in conversations around conservation and environmental action. Their attendance at the protest was a natural extension of this learning and an opportunity for us to call for action from adults in our community and our government,” she added. .
“Our discussion around the protest centered on the power of a collective voice, and we explored protest signs as part of this. The children created two signs with messages they felt were important: one, a call to protect the reef, and the other, a plea to save our rainforests.”
Through sustained project learning, the children now understand the impacts of habitat destruction, and are most concerned about the danger to animals in changing climates and through human impact, a Guardian spokesperson said.
Preparing protest signs, and participating in the march, also gave the children an opportunity to engage with literacy in a practical way. They discussed, drafted, and designed the signs, which read ‘THIS is the World we WANT’ and ‘Please Save Our Forests’.
The children and families in the pre-kindergarten group have been part of several eco-focused projects this year, Ms Costa explained, and are actively involved in conversations with educators around the issues of climate change, plastic pollution, clean energy, and conservation.
“Our families are incredibly supportive and further our program by thoughtfully and honestly discussing big issues at home and at the centre. When the idea of joining the march was proposed they met us with an immediately positive response,” she added.
“We have had many, many conversations around the ways in which people impact the environment. As we approached the school strike, we reframed this and considered how we could make our impact positive.”
Ms Costa said the service looks forward to further discussions with the children in relation to climate change and advocacy, supporting the children “to make personal and systemic changes as citizens of the world”.
To learn more about Guardian Charlotte Street, please see here.