As a former student and youth from Maine, I appreciate all of the strides our state has made toward a healthy environment over these past few years. Everyone deserves access to climate education. Climate education is vital knowledge for today’s youth to receive. As youth, we face the dark aftermath of the climate crisis. Thankfully, L.D. 1902 – Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Program To Encourage Climate Education in Maine Public Schools – was introduced in 2021 and is being considered by the Legislature.

This bill holds opportunities for students and educators all around Maine, climate education that can reach tribal schools, migrant students, rural and remote schools, students of color, English Language learners, students receiving special education services and more.

This bill guarantees that everyone has the resources to make these opportunities a reality. Educators and students are already stretched thin because of the pandemic, and this set of valuable skills and information should not be harder to gain than it already is.

When I was growing up, climate science was not taught. The problem humanity is facing is not talked about to those of us who are standing in the crossfire. Can you feel our frustration?

I was lucky enough to find my own resources to learn what I know and get involved. Not everyone is as lucky, and climate education shouldn’t depend on luck or privilege – it should be accessible to everyone. We must act now to make sure that Maine’s youth are prepared for the future.

Madison Sheppard

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