WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-West Lafayette Climate Strikes has a new Initiative that will teach children at a young age about climate change. Part of that initiative was to get the City of West Lafayette to declare a climate emergency. At the last West Lafayette City Council meeting, a resolution was passed to declare a climate emergency.
"People that deny that Climate Change is an issue really do have their heads buried in the sand," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.
West Lafayette Climate Strikes feels that the lack of education is why climate change isn't a more front and center issue.
"We do have an environmental science class, but they just implemented that after our strike last year in September,” said Annabel Prokopy, a leader with West Lafayette Climate Strikes. “There definitely isn't a lot of climate literacy. Even that class doesn't talk about climate change very much."
That lack of literacy is why the grassroots organization is creating Climate Kidz. The initiative will create programs for more climate literacy in the West Lafayette community.
"We are trying to prepare West Lafayette for the incoming impact of climate change while engaging kids,” said Ethan Bledsoe, another leader with West Lafayette Climate Strikes. “What that looks like is having a resiliency project implemented."
The organization has applied for a grant that would allow them to build eight free little libraries with information about climate change inside them. Those libraries will be scattered throughout the city of West Lafayette.
"It will basically just function the same as a free library except it will have climate resiliency materials to hopefully engage kids and adults to educate them about climate resiliency and different projects that they can do," said Bledsoe.
Mayor John Dennis says this education is necessary.
"Influencing other forms of local government in the area I think is going to be an easy thing to do because we are leading by example here in West Lafayette,” added Mayor Dennis. “II think that's going to show that it's not just possible it's probable these changes are going to come."
This is why the Mayor says he is proud of the kids leading this charge and the city council for declaring a climate emergency.
"If we don't take action now we won't be in a position to take any action because it will be too late,” said Mayor John Dennis.
West Lafayette Climate Strikes hopes to build its climate literacy libraries by March. How many they create will depend on the amount of funding they are able to receive. The organization plans on kicking off its Climate Kidz initiative on February 12th from 7-8 PM. To RSVP and learn more click here.