Nearly two dozen intermediate Grade 4-7 students from Begbie View Elementary School (BVE) protested outside of City Hall this morning.
“The hard part is taking action. So we need to stand together and fix the problems to save our earth, because we only have one,” four Grade 7 students said to the cheering crowd.
It is the first of Revelstoke’s Friday for Future campaign, a global movement of peaceful, student led striking inspired by 16 year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg. Today, students in over 2,000 places in 125 countries took part. Fridays for Future is about calling on leaders to address the climate crisis destined to hugely impact the lives of younger generations. For her work, Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Claire Sieber, Hailey Ross and Alice Weber helped spread the word about the local protest. “We are here in solidarity with Greta and students around the world, it is them that are spearheading the movement,” explains Sieber. “We’re very excited about what happened here today, and are hoping more of the schools and classes involved.”
“We support the students moving forward with Fridays for Future,” said Weber.
“Are you interested in continuing to doing this?” Weber asked the kids, who responded with loud cheers.
It’s important to note that these students made an effort to be here. It was the students who told the school they wanted to attend.
“These kids are passionate about it,” explains BVE Grade 4/5 teacher Sarah Newton. “They are knowledgeable, and they came knowing what this was about. Critical thinking is very important and encouraged in our school – it’s really empowering.”
City Councillor Mike Brooks-Hill was watching the students.
“I think it’s great. Personally I was hoping to see more kids out, but like they were saying it’s just getting started,” he says. “I know the high school I went to we were encouraged to go to protests. I think having that kind of civic engagement when you are young leads to civic engagement when you’re older.”
For Newton, herself an advocate for the environment, volunteering to facilitate the kids passion to participate is a no brainer. “I’m motivated by my students and my offspring. They get it.”