To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, fifth-grader Reed Chrobak wants his peers at Agnor-Hurt Elementary and others in the community to chalk pictures of the Earth outside or make a poster to promote climate action.
“The theme of Earth Day this year is climate action,” said Reed, who is the president of the school’s Rainbow Club, an environmental group. “So we really want to inspire people to take action against the climate. Since we can’t do it as an entire school together, these are the activities we created.”
Reed had originally planned a school clean-up date in conjunction with Earth Day, but the extended school closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans. Now, he’s challenged his school to draw the Earth on sidewalks or driveways and post photos of the art online.
He worked with his teacher Mia Shand to plan the activities. She’s been spreading the word about the challenge through morning announcements and the school’s online learning platform.
Organizers of the global movement chose the theme because the challenge and opportunities of action on climate change
“Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable,” according to the Earth Day website.
Reed and his sister started The Rainbow Club three years ago and have promoted recycling programs at the school.
“We did a peace garden in the back of our school,” he said. “We had each kid plant a flower bulb and we were hoping that would teach them that planting is good for the environment.”
The club also is asking students to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday by writing a letter or poem to their favorite tree and then film themselves reciting it.
Reed became concerned for the planet after researching environmental issues and learning about pollution.
“The thing that concerns me the most with the environment is probably the fact that not many people … are actually doing something to stop it,” he said.
He hopes the Earth Day activities will inspire others to help the environment.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be bigger than Agnor-Hurt,” Reed said. “I’m hoping people are going to post pictures of what they’ve done and get other people inspired to do it.”