Global Climate Strike: St. George’s Responds to This Call to Action
As environmental and climate change issues become more pressing, so too does the need to engage with a collective responsibility to effect change in an active way. To that end, St. George’s School of Montreal has embraced the opportunity to further empower its students by scheduling a full-school early dismissal on Friday, September 27th to facilitate their participation in the Global Climate Strike.
Thus far, millions of people around the world, in over 150 countries and 867 cities, are expected to walk out of their schools, workplaces, and homes to stand together for climate justice. Recognizing the uniqueness of this situation and the incredible opportunity it presents for engaging youth in active citizenship, St. George’s has earnestly responded to this call to action.
The ardent stance and passionate voice of our student body regarding climate action is clear, as is St. George’s commitment to a sustainable future and the development of leaders who will help contribute toward that goal. Joined on September 27, 2019 by internationally renowned teen activist Greta Thunberg, we anticipate many of our students, faculty and staff will march through the streets of Montreal in global solidarity with impassioned participants around the world.
To promote the message of youth empowerment and facilitate a meaningful learning experience, St. George’s organized three separate assemblies on September 18th, at the request of the school’s Green Team. These inspired students made age-appropriate presentations to their peers, putting into context the seriousness of the climate crisis and the importance of the upcoming Global Climate Strike. They encouraged fellow students to believe in their power to reshape the conversation around climate change and achieve climate justice for all.
St. George’s students energized on Earth Day!
According to our calendars, April 22 is Earth Day – a celebration of the achievements of the environmental movement since its inception in the 1970s. As environmental and climate change issues become more pressing, so too does a need to engage with a collective responsibility to effect change in an active way.
At St. George’s, learning takes the form of special projects and activities relating to sustainability for one day each May. The custom began at our school’s Elementary campus years ago, but has since grown to involve the entire K to 11 community.
Last year, Grade 7 to 11 students participated in a day of action with the inaugural Earth Day Summit, a first the High School campus. The event was an overwhelming success that involved nearly a quarter of the student body in facilitating workshops for their peers and teachers.
On the morning of Friday, May 3, High School students again ran and participated in workshops exploring topics like biodiversity, climate change and energy efficiency. Before ending the day with a walk-a-thon fundraiser for our friends at the Sheela Bal Bhavan home for girls in Jaipur, the student body, teachers and staff committed to a “zero waste” picnic lunch on Mount Royal – that is, a meal with minimal environmental impact through use of reusable and compostable materials.
A week later on Friday, May 10, Elementary School students, parents and teachers devoted themselves to yard work and innovative urban agriculture projects, including planting crops of herbs and leafy greens that will be harvested for local food banks later in the year. These activities are long-standing traditions at the Elementary School!
“For years, Earth Day events at our elementary school have inspired and unified our community of students, teachers, and parent volunteers,” says Head of School Sharon Klein. “Last year’s high school Earth Day Summit provided an invaluable platform for student activists; as workshop leaders they channeled a contagious energy into igniting a similar passion and sense of urgency in their peers.”
Grade 11 class receives CPR/AED training through Robert Sibthorpe and Benjamin Silverman First Responders Fund
On Thursday, April 18, the entire Grade 11 class at St. George’s was instructed in a Level A CPR/AED course. For these students, the context for their training was beyond hypothetical: in October 2017, their classmate received life-saving CPR after collapsing on the field during a semi-final baseball game. Thanks to the emergency preparedness of both the coach and trained first responder Robert Sibthorpe, a parent of another player on the team, Ben Silverman was ultimately resuscitated and able to make a full recovery. The school recognized Sibthorpe for his heroic actions at the Tribute Dinner in November 2018, where he was celebrated as a “Community Champion”.
Silverman’s parents, Dr. Roberta Shear and Mr. Gary Silverman, established the Robert Sibthorpe and Benjamin Silverman First Responders Fund as a gesture of gratitude to Sibthorpe and to the school, with an aim to provide students with an opportunity to become certified in CPR. “By graduation, all St. George’s students will benefit from learning this invaluable, lifelong skill,” said Shear when announcing the fund in November. “St. George’s students can then hopefully one day pay it forward and save a life, as demonstrated by [Sibthorpe’s] incredible example.”
“We are so proud to equip our senior students, who are leaders in our school and in their own extended communities, with this vitally important knowledge,” said St. George’s High School Assistant Head Michael O’Connor.