In 1992, a young girl made history when she addressed the United Nations.

“…While this speech was given in 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. How much is still relevant today? All of it. And the more important question is: Howmuch has been changed, accomplished, since Severn spoke that day?

Years later, Severn wrote a piece for Time magazine in which she said: “I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken…In the 10 years since Rio, I have learned that addressing our leaders is not enough. As Gandhi said many years ago, ‘We must become the change we want to see.’ I know change is possible.”

Severn comes from an environmental legacy – her father is the renowned David Suzuki. At the age of nine, Severn founded theEnvironmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. Today, Severn is an environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. She has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility.”

Currently our students across the school are learning about our impact on the world. They are the future problem solvers and we are teaching them that they can make a difference. Stewardship of our earth is the responsibility of everyone.

We model through our discussion, our conviction and our action the confidence we have in their capacity to be the change. This is a great inquiry unit for parents to be involved and discover what their children are thinking and feeling. It could be an opportunity to make visible action in your homes.

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