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K-8th Graders Saving The Planet…

childrenHere’s a  forward-thinking, positive program for children & adults: parents & teachers…It’s so simple to implement into K-8th grade, that it doesn’t make sense for schools not to offer it! This fantastic organization is an example of what schools can do to help!

Every K-8th grade program should offer the ‘Cool The Earth’ programs at their school. It’s a worthwhile investment for the future of the Earth’s children & our amazing planet!

Randi B.

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Cool The Earth is a ready-to-run program that educates K-8 students and their families about global warming and inspires them to take simple actions to reduce their carbon emissions. The program is successful because it’s fun and empowering for the kids, and their enthusiasm is contagious

WHAT IS COOL THE EARTH?

Cool the Earth is a grassroots, school-to-home program that provides climate change education through action. We engage kids and their families to take simple, measurable actions that collectively make a significant impact on global warming.

CAN I RUN COOL THE EARTH AT MY SCHOOL?

Cool the Earth can be run by any elementary school or middle school in the country. All that is required to run Cool the Earth is a parent or other adult volunteer to run the program, as well as permission from the school. The entire program is designed to be delivered to volunteers through the Cool the Earth website.

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM OPERATE AT A SCHOOL?

Cool the Earth is a 3-5 month program run entirely by volunteers, headed up by a coordinator at each elementary and middle school. Taking place outside of classroom time, during lunch and recess, the program begins with a kick-off assembly introducing the concepts of climate change to the student body. At this time kids receive Action Coupon booklets filled with low or no cost carbon saving initiatives to bring home to their families. After the launch, individual Actions of the Month are highlighted on campus monthly encouraging students to take specific actions to reduce their carbon emissions.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A PROGRAM COORDINATOR?

Anyone connected to a school, either a parent or teacher, can be a coordinator. As long as you’re excited about bringing the program to your school, have good organizational skills and can pull together a team to assist you, you’re eligible. And you don’t need to be an expert on global warming.

HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED OF THE VOLUNTEERS?

On average, it takes about 6-8 hours a month of total volunteer time to run the program. Launching the program and coordinating the assembly take a few additional hours but seeing the joy and eagerness on the student’s faces during the play makes it time well spent!

Jenny JedeikinJenny Jedeikin, Public Relations Director

Jenny’s writing career had its start with a regular column in Rolling Stone Magazine. Her writing—from pop-culture to personal essays—has appeared in In Style, The San Francisco Chronicle, On American Airlines, The New York Post, The Cable Guide, Playgirl, The Advocate, and Pasadena Magazine. She has also worked as a producer on MTV’s The Jon Stewart Show, appeared as a stand-up on Comedy Central and produced for Air America Radio. After a stint on Eco-talk, she began to focus on green issues and has created sustainable material for Wal-mart, Kyoto Planet and HGTV.com. Jenny received a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley. She hopes to help drive “Cool the earth” into a national movement. www.cooltheearth.org

OUR TEACHERS ARE SO BUSY! HOW MUCH TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IS THERE?

The CTE program is essentially 99% volunteer and student run and does not require teacher participation to be successful. However, during the year, teachers are given “Teacher Notes” summarizing the main points of the Actions of the Month, and they will be asked to talk to their class for a few minutes about these. So a little teacher involvement makes the program more successful!

HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST THE SCHOOL?

As a nonprofit organization, Cool the Earth actively pursues grants and donations to cover operating expenses. However, in order to keep our program sustainable during these challenging economic times, we will be asking schools that are not funded by a regional grant to make a donation to Cool the Earth to cover the program materials cost in 2009-10.

New schools with 400 – 750 students are asked to donate $500 to Cool the Earth. We have worked to keep the program costs down and provide lots of suggestions for how to raise the funds for CTE at your school. Our support materials will include fundraising projects, sponsorship letters and other materials to help make this step as easy as possible.

WHEN IS THE DONATION DUE TO COOL THE EARTH?

We ask that the donation be made within 120 days from the launch of the program. This should give ample time to hold one of the fundraising Actions of the Month or to raise the donation by one of the other suggested methods.

WHAT IF OUR SCHOOL IS UNABLE TO RAISE THE SUGGESTED DONATION AMOUNT?

If a school has tried, but is unable to raise the full donation amount, financial aid may be available. A financial aid request form can be found in the Program Materials – Fundraising Toolkit. Cool the Earth is continuously applying for grants to cover program expenses, most of which must be allocated to certain regions or cities. Once we receive your application, we’ll review and check for awarded or pending grants that may apply. Our goal is to accept all schools that are eager to run the program and turn no one away.

HOW DO WE SUBMIT OUR DONATION TO COOL THE EARTH?

Donations can easily be made to Cool the Earth in one of two ways. The website features a ‘Donate Now’ button that accepts credit card payments or a check can be mailed to Cool the Earth at PO Box 694 Kentfield, CA 94914-0694. Please be sure to include the name of the school on the check.

WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL NEED TO DO?

Before the school is officially enrolled in the program, the principal is asked to approve the school’s participation in Cool The Earth. The principal will then be asked to support the program by: approving a date for the assembly, allowing a student group to work with CTE, allowing a brief presentation to teachers at a staff meeting, allowing various channels of communication to be used to promote the program to students and their families, and signing a letter to parents included with the Action Coupon booklets.

WHAT IS THE SCIENCE BEHIND THIS PROGRAM?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published a series of reports in the last several years based on the work of hundreds of the world’s foremost scientists. The science is very complex, but their main points are simple and are the basis for our taking action: Global warming is unequivocal, it is very likely due to human activities that have created greenhouse gases (such as Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide). If we make changes in our production of these greenhouse gases soon, we may be able to reduce some of the negative impacts of climate change.

DOES THE PROGRAM HAVE A POLITICAL AGENDA?

No. We are a grassroots effort trying to increase awareness in children and their families about their own daily carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. We want to show people that by making different choices, they can reduce their emissions and have a positive impact on the climate. Although individually this positive impact may seem small, our program shows that when we working together within our individual communities, we can make a significant impact!

WE HAVE NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING FAMILIES AT OUR SCHOOL. HOW CAN THEY BE INVOLVED?

At this time our program materials are also available in Spanish and Mandarin.

MOST OF THE SCHOOLS RUNNING THE PROGRAM ARE IN CALIFORNIA. CAN A SCHOOL RUN THE PROGRAM OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA?

Absolutely. With an entirely web-based delivery system, any school in the country can run Cool the Earth. Cool the Earth is currently set to run in schools from New York to Texas this fall.

HOW MUCH SUCCESS HAS THE PROGRAM HAD SO FAR?

In it’s first year, Cool the Earth has reached 6,000 households, motivating families to take more than 10,000 specific measurable actions to reduce carbon by more than 8 million pounds, the equivalent of eliminating more than 750 cars off the road.

WHAT DOES COOL THE EARTH DO WITHIN IT’S OWN ORGANIZATION TO ENSURE IT’S NOT ADDING TO GLOBAL EMISSIONS?

Cool the Earth makes every effort to run its operations with the environment in mind, including printing all materials on recycled paper, allowing employees to work from home, and creating a web-based delivery system, to minimize its carbon footprint.

WE ARE A HIGH SCHOOL. CAN WE USE THIS PROGRAM?

The Cool The Earth program is designed for elementary schools and middles schools, not for high schools. Sorry!

WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM GOALS OF THE COOL THE EARTH PROGRAM?

Cool the Earth hopes to offer its program at every elementary and middle school across the nation.

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