“One Does Not Have to Look to Europe. . .”

Because of their homegrown efforts to increase carpooling, third and fourth-graders at Friends Community School are featured in an article published yesterday in Climate Change Solutions.
“One does not have to look to Europe for inspired and empowered kids trying to make a positive difference,” writes Daniel Bresette, the Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). Daniel is a parent of a kindergarten student at FCS. His interest in the project was piqued when he received a schoolwide carpool survey from Tess’s 3/4 in his inbox.
Daniel answered the survey, and also asked Tess if he could learn more about what the students are doing. In a visit to the class in December, he interviewed the students about how their project evolved, what they discovered, and steps they are taking as a result to promote carpooling at FCS.
The students’ project began in September, as climate strikes across the world prompted both inquiries and a spirit of action in the classroom. Teachers found ways to incorporate the subject across disciplines. In science, students learned about the carbon cycle and the atmosphere. In the Language Arts nonfiction unit, the classroom library was stocked with requested texts about climate change and its effects. In conjunction with a geography unit on the continents, students studied climate activists from all seven continents.  
The 3/4 survey tried to identify why more FCS families don’t carpool. Nineteen percent of the 140 respondents said it’s because they don’t know how to find people to carpool with or need help coordinating schedules. The students researched what resources the school provides (the map on the FCS portal) and brainstormed about other ways to match families (how about classified ads in the student newspaper, The FoCuS?). They also wrote and produced a short video explaining how parents can find a “carpool buddy.” Watch the video below.

Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740