On Friday March 3rd, Montclair Cooperative School Upper School students attended a powerful assembly at Montclair High School as part of the Climate Campaign Partnership.

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The Climate Campaign Partnership is an integrated STEAM program sponsored by Montclair Film Festival and partnered with the Montclair Cooperative School and National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously that focuses on the critical scientific, political, economic and social issues of climate change through powerful and provocative films, art, conversation, and social action. The fusion of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, STEAM education is poised to create the innovators of solutions to 21st century problems, climate change chief among them. This integrated approach is a natural outgrowth of the Co-op’s commitment to interdisciplinary education in a context committed to social and environmental justice.

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Earlier this month, in preparation for the assembly, Co-op students viewed the National Geographic film Collapse of the Oceans. They were encouraged to prepare questions, which were submitted in advance to the speakers. At the assembly they had the opportunity to hear from the award winning director/producer of the film, Martha Jeffries. Joining Ms Jeffries was Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, policy expert, and independent consultant currently in residence at TED. Johnson’s mission is to build bridges among science, policy, and people, so we can use the ocean without using it up. Also on the program was Iris Fen Gillingham, a 17-year-old student activist with Earth Guardians. All three speakers were incredibly passionate about climate change, and delivered a message that was hopeful about the future of our planet. That hope was tempered by a call to action for all young people to become climate activists. Click here for more information about the Climate Change Student Action Kit.

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Next up in the Climate Campaign Partnership is a series of workshops held at Montclair Cooperative School. We are offering two workshops at the Montclair Co-op on Sunday, March 26th and April 2nd, from 12:00 to 3:00 where middle and high school students can take part in empowering activities that can create real change in our world. Highlights of the workshop include programming about Earth Guardians, the creation of a public art project to be installed at the Montclair Film Festival in April, outreach to Congress, and a photo booth so student activists can share their message on social media.

Founded in 1963, Montclair Cooperative School is an independent, progressive, co-educational school serving 180 students from preschool through eighth grade. For more than 50 years, Montclair Cooperative School has been dedicated to providing engaging, creative, multi-disciplinary learning as a rigorous preparation for high school and beyond. Today, Montclair Co-op remains deeply committed to creating a diverse and nurturing environment where children flourish intellectually and develop exceptional social skills, along with a deep sense of community and social justice. For more information visit http://montclaircoop.org/ or call (973) 783-4955.