NYC PS & You – Taking Action on Climate Change! 10-30-23

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Taking Action on Climate Change

Dear New Yorkers,

I often speak about our mission of preparing students for bright starts and bold futures, and when I do, I consider the world we are preparing them to enter. It is complex and rapidly changing—and it is facing the existential threat of climate change. Our kids did not create this problem, but they will most certainly be critical in solving it.

That’s why I’m thrilled about our first-ever New York City Public Schools Climate Action Days—four days, each with a distinct theme, to highlight the importance of sustainability and encourage climate action in our schools:

  • December 6: Energy
  • February 7: Waste
  • April 17: Health, Wellness, and Green Space
  • June 12: Water

On Climate Action Days, our school communities will delve into these topics and learn about sustainability, allowing them to set school-based goals and take action. To prepare, our Office of Energy and Sustainability led three all-day trainings this month for teachers and school staff, with nearly 750 participants in total. These educators planned climate-related activities and programming tailored to their school communities, ranging from “neighborhood energy investigation” field trips to plastic-free lunch days to building rain gardens and water filters.

The possibilities for climate education and action are endless. Did you know that, according to a 2017 study from the City’s Sanitation Department, 51% of waste generated in our schools can be composted, and 35% can be recycled? To me, there’s a clear message behind this data: when it comes to the environment and building a greener future, we as a school system have an opportunity—and responsibility—to lead the way.

Already, NYC Public Schools are the largest contributor to the city’s solar energy goals, with 81 solar installations across our schools to-date. We are also connecting our students to green jobs through our Career and Technical Education programs and career-connected learning. And by the end of this school year, we will have curbside composting accessible to every one of our schools—the largest school composting program in the nation.

As we approach our Climate Action Days, I encourage the entire NYCPS community to get involved! Families, reach out to your children’s schools and ask about their plans for our first Climate Action Day on December 6. You can also visit our webpage for age-appropriate book recommendations for your children, focused on climate and sustainability.

To our school staff, thank you for all of your hard work this fall to make Climate Action Days a success. I see you, and I appreciate you. Your legacy will be the students you inspire to protect our planet.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks

Our Spotlight Video: Check out this video tour of Brooklyn College, and remember, CUNY is waiving application fees for NYCPS seniors through the end of October! Our last issue of PS + You has more details.

Welcome to @BklynCollege411! Are you a NYC senior in high school interested in college? Guess what? You can apply to be a Fall 2024… | Instagram

And here’s the weekly video from Mayor Eric Adams. If you’re interested in receiving updates directly from the Mayor’s Office, please click here.