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South Orangetown Fifth-Graders Talk Climate Change On New Website

Fifth graders from Cottage Lane Elementary School created the website kidsagainstclimatechange.com as a space to discuss ideas on how to slow down climate change.
Fifth graders from Cottage Lane Elementary School created the website kidsagainstclimatechange.com as a space to discuss ideas on how to slow down climate change. Photo Credit: South Orangetown Central School District

A new website created by fifth graders at Cottage Lane Elementary School in Blauvelt aims to provide a safe place for kids of all ages to discuss climate change and how to slow it down.

The ad-free site, www.kidsagainstclimatechange.com , is the only of it's kind on the internet where students can interact on the issue of climate change in a blog section and submit original pictures and videos to be considered for publication, the South Orangetown Central School District announced.

It's benefits are twofold: the site motivates students to learn the science and understand the research behind climate change but also provides an audience for their thoughts on the subject.

“My vision is to have children all over the world discussing climate change, and sharing their ideas for taking action,” said teacher Kottie Christie-Blick.

Christie-Blick is the one behind the scenes moderating contributions to the site to ensure appropriateness. Her hope is for the site to gain momentum and initiate climate change discussion internationally amongst children.

Some suggest that elementary students are too young to learn about an issue as complex as climate change, a notion Christie-Blick dismissed so long as the subject is taught in an age-appropriate way.

“There are many engaging, hands-on activities to help children understand the cause-and-effect relationships among land, air, water, and all living things on Earth. Following project-based learning philosophy, when students know they’ll have a real audience for their ideas, they’re more engaged in their classroom learning, and they feel empowered when their voice is heard.”

The site is funded with a grant from the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as funds from the Fulbright Association, U.S. Department of State.

Christie-Blick recently attended the Best of Both Worlds International Environmental Conference in Colorado where  she introduced Kids Against Climate Change to educators and environmentalists from seven different countries. She hopes to take the site international in the future.

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