Education has always formed a big part of the Sussex Green Living mission. In fact, it is where Carrie Cort started out, as a network of families learning about nature, the environment and ways that everyone can live a more sustainable life.
In 2016, after training with the Climate Reality Leadership Corp, former US VP Al Gore and leading climate change scientists, Carrie stepped up our environmental education programme. She designed it to inform pupils on key environmental issues and share inspiring solutions which surround us. Then in 2021, launched our Bright New Future Roadshow, an outdoor environmental education event with specialist environmental educators delivering a carousel of activities. Last year we delivered 59 days and so far this year we have delivered 56 days for environmental education in Sussex schools.
“Children are so passionate about looking after the planet, they really do not understand why adults do not get it and why we now find ourselves in such a mess.” says Carrie.
In July, thanks to our Tesco Community Grant, we took our Bright New Future Roadshow to St Mary’s CofE Primary School in Pulborough. We spent the day with 133 Early Years and KS1 pupils. The children explored our Inspiration Eco Station milk float learning about eco-homes and gardens, clothes and recycling and they were encouraged to collect single use plastics for our TerraCycle scheme.
At the Mobile Woodland School Theatre the children played games that demonstrated the wonders of food chains, woodlands and mycelium. In the forest school area Nicola Peel inspired the children with the Wheel of Eco Fortune game, the pupils spin an antique wheel and explore the subject it lands in through age appropriate activities and games.
The pupils clearly enjoyed themselves:
“I hope I can do that again!” said Dilan from Reception class.
This summer, Carrie and Morag took the float to Billingshurst Primary School and with the theme of ‘caring for our countryside’ brought the issues and solutions to life. The children were so engaged that Natalie Hunt (school Eco Lead) then arranged for the school to take part in the South Downs National Park and Sussex Green Living Eco Art Competition which was themed around litter. The Reception Class won 3rd prize in the competition.
The children still had a bee in their bonnet about litter and so the Eco Council are now setting up an after-school litter picking club and have produced their own litter campaign video. Natalie told us:
“The children loved doing it, planned the whole video and edited it themselves! Thanks for inspiring them!
“It is so heartwarming to see how children get inspired from our school visits and take things to the next level.” says Carrie.
Tuesday 29th November is Giving Tuesday and we are fundraising for our education initiatives in the hope to raise £2,000 to support our work in states schools and colleges in West Sussex. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 in the US and falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The idea behind it is that after the overindulgence of food (from Thanksgiving) and shopping, that there is a day to give back. And who better to give back to than to charity?
If you can, please CLICK HERE to donate to our appeal and support our work.
By Melanie Nurse