Students at Trafalgar Elementary are marking Earth Day this year with a 30-Day Walking Curriculum Challenge. Designed by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Imagination in Research, this movement encourages educators to engage students in climate education and outdoor learning.
For grade 5 teacher Laure Larpent, this is the third year her class has participated in the challenge. Starting from kindergarten, Trafalgar students are introduced to gardening in their school gardens.
"We also partner with an organization called Earth Bites that teaches students to grow and harvest from the school’s garden,” says Larpent.
Because of Larpent's dedication to the walking challenge, students at Trafalgar believe in the importance of Earth Day and all that it symbolizes. Trafalgar also holds the status as a United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) school – an organization dedicated to sustainable development and climate action education.
When asked why Earth Day was important to them, Larpent’s grade 5 students Frances, Josephine, Mackenzie, Layna, Gigi, Nadia, Aaron, and Sophia collectively responded with the following message:
“We think Earth Day is important because the Earth is our home, and we must protect it. Earth Day is a reminder that we need to take time to think about the problems we are causing to Earth. There are lots of problems we need to solve and as students in a UNESCO school, we have to start solving these problems.”
As Larpent teaches French Immersion, grade 5 students Lucas, Felix, and Claire chose to share why Earth Day is important to them in French:
“Le jour de la Terre, c’est un rappel que si nous donnons du temps, du respect et de l’énergie à la Terre, alors la Terre peut nous redonner. Le jour de la Terre est là pour nous rappeler que nous devons devenir vraiment sérieux au sujet de l’environnement.”
Larpent is proud of her students and the awareness they have for their outdoor surroundings. “There are so many benefits to taking students outside of the classroom,” she says. “They get to run around, breathe fresh air and put themselves in the shoes of other living things.”
Find out more about the Vancouver School District's sustainability work and vision to be the greenest, most sustainable school district in our Environmental Sustainability Plan.
Tell us how you are celebrating Earth Day on social media by using #EarthDay2022 and #vsbgreen.