COVID-19 and the practice of physical distancing have recently challenged families and educators in unprecedented ways. Many caregivers and young people are feeling restless and disconnected, given the additional time indoors and at home. With thoughtful engagement, however, this additional time together can provide a unique opportunity for learning and creativity.
The American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity has recently launched a series of educational opportunities to engage young people and life-long learners in creative exercises at the intersection of climate change and health.
These tools and activities offer pathways to empower youth and learners of all ages to act on climate change’s impact on health. In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to foster a sense of global responsibility and empowerment within our communities.
- Read an ECO Bookworms selection with your little one. Our ECO Bookworms book club invites parents, caregivers and educators to start conversations about climate change and the environment with their young children. Check back each month for a new featured book and discussion questions. And learn more about why we started the book club.
- Write and submit a Tiny Climate Chronicle. Our 100-word story series features reader-submitted stories that highlight the health impacts of climate change and illustrate the ways we cope and overcome. Check out Climate Storytelling: A Quick Guide for more on the power of stories to affect change and guidance on good storytelling techniques.
- APHA’s Children’s Environmental Health Committee has developed a toolkit for use by pre-K through 12th grade educators to teach students about how the environment affects human health. Educators will find lessons and activities on climate change, environmental justice, lead exposure prevention and air quality, many of which can be done at home.
- Create a state or regional fact sheet to educate and advocate for climate action on behalf of a community you love. Climate change affects people's health differently throughout the country, so location-specific resources are critical. APHA’s main climate change webpage offers eight pre-made fact sheets, a fact sheet template and two guides to help you create climate change maps and draft your own fact sheets.
For the latest news at the intersection of climate change and health, engage with APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity on social media. Tag your climate and health actions with #ClimateChangesHealth and follow Surili Patel, the director of our center, on Instagram at @ClimateHealthEquity.
APHA recognizes the hard work of public health professionals everywhere and encourages them to continue educating the public and speaking out for funding and support to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. For up-to-date resources and information, visit our COVID-19 pages on APHA.org and aphagetready.org and our coronavirus post series here on Public Health Newswire.
Rachel McMonagle is the climate change program manager for the American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity. The American Public Health Association is a partner of Climate for Health, a coalition of health leaders committed to caring for our climate to care for our health. Founded by ecoAmerica, Climate for Health offers tools, resources, and communications to demonstrate visible climate leadership, inspiring, and empowering health leaders to speak about, act and advocate for climate solutions. Learn more about our partnership and the resources available to you here.