A lot of people think that climate change activism is all about inspirational quotes and reusable containers, but it is so much more than that. Our names are Sadie, Stella and Mirabelle. We are co-founders of Monument Valley Middle Schools’s ClimateJusticeProject, we are in 6th grade. At the beginning of the school year, we heard that schools all over the country were planning or joining events to protest global warming, on September 21. We thought “hey, that's a pretty cool idea” and we went and talked to our principal, to see if we could do the same. Because it was such a short notice we weren’t able to do a strike on the 21st, but we did travel to New York City to join the tens of thousands of people protesting alongside 16 year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
After such an empowering experience, we were positive that we wanted to hold a protest of our own. The event we planned took place on December 13 outside of Monument Valley Middle School, we had an amazing turnout, over half of the students and staff came out to support us. People chanted, gave speeches and waved signs alongside us. We worked with a group of diligent girls from 5th and 6th grade to organize the school walk-out and produce a highly supportive crowd. But we were not ready to stop there. We started to realize there were huge amounts of non-environmentally friendly things at our school. There were plastic forks, knives, and spoons, single use fruit and vegetable containers, plastic bottles, and recycling bins that only allowed paper. Our school was causing a problem, not a huge one, but a problem
So, we continued to meet every Wednesday, with our group of passionate girls all fighting for the same thing. We, before the school was shut down, were about to send a letter to the cafeteria staff and manager asking for help to ban the plastic containers, and replace them with a salad bar, or something along those lines. Our group of 5th and 6th graders were also working on solving the recycling bin, plastic bottles, plastic containers problems, and getting a composter. Obviously our group stopped meeting in person after the school shut down, but we never stopped fighting Climate Change. We want you to know that we will never stop fighting Climate Change, no matter what happens. There are some things that you can just put in the back of your brain and wait until you feel like doing it, but Climate Change is just not one of them. We urge you to keep fighting for what you believe in during these tough times, the world will not stop changing just because everything else has, so we won’t either, and neither will you.
We recently took part in an empowering online Climate Change summit, via google meets. We were able to talk about how we are fighting Climate Change at our school, and learned about what other kids from all over the Berkshires are doing to fight Climate Change in their schools and communities. Climate Change needs to be addressed, if you haven’t thought or tried to make an effort toward saving our planet, I urge you to do some research and see what you can do to help, now is a great time to do so, considering we are all home. If you are a part of our fight already, know that you are not the only one fighting for a worthy cause.
In “The Boy who Became a WWII Veteran at 13 years old”, an article from the Smithsonian's TweenTribune, it tells about how Calvin Graham joined the Navy in WWII, at the age of twelve, and the battleship he served on. When Calvin Graham first heard that some of his cousins were killed in battles, he immediately wanted to enlist. The problem was he was only 12, but he didn’t want to wait another five years to enlist, (you had to be 17), so he went to the enlisting offices. When the dentist who examined him insisted that
Calvin was 12, Calvin insisted he was 17, and the dentist said' he "didn’t have time for this", and let Calvin pass.
Calvin served on the USS South Dakota, which was thought by the Japanese to be on the bottom of the Pacific, so when the newspapers reported on its feats in the Pacific they simply called it Battleship X. “The Japanese, it turned out, were convinced it had been destroyed at sea.”, “When the newspapers later reported on the ships remarkable achievements, They referred to it simply as Battleship X.” This shows that the USS South Dakota was kept a large secret from the Japanese. Early in the war, the U.S. armed forces wanted to keep every secret they could from Japan because the Japanese were defeating them at every battle that took place up to 1942 when the Americans fought off the Japanese invasion of Midway Atoll. The South Dakota would become one of the most decorated US ships in history.
Calvin Graham served on the USS South Dakota until 1943, when shrapnel from a Japanese bomb tore through his mouth.
In the Naval battle of Guadalcanal Calvin was manning his gun when a Japanese bomb exploded, sending shrapnel everywhere. A piece of it ripped through his mouth. Calvin got a purple heart for his injuries and a bronze star for helping other wounded men on the South Dakota. His mother wrote a letter to the navy explaining Calvin's true age and so the Navy discharged him from service and took away his medals. Calvin was thrown in jail, but the navy ordered his release. Five years later, Calvin was going to enlist in the Marines but broke his back in a fall.
In 1976 President Carter gave back Calvin’s Bronze Star. In 1994, two years after he died, his purple heart was given to his family.
Once upon a time there was a rabbit named Royal. One day, Royal came home from the park to the delicious smell of baking carrot cake. Carrot cake (in his opinion) was the best dessert in the whole entire world!
“Dad! Are you making carrot cake?” he exclaimed.
“Yes sweety.” his dad replied. “Didn’t I tell you? Ruby's surprise party is tonight!”
“Oh yeah! Now I remember. Yay!”
Royal had completely forgotten about his mom’s birthday! He was so excited! He couldn’t wait to see everyone, but the thing he was most excited about was the carrot cake! When the cake came out of the oven, Royal immediately asked, “Can I have a bite?”
His father responded, “No. We have to wait until the party.”
Royal really wanted to have some cake, so as soon as his father’s back was turned, he hopped up on the counter and was about to eat it when his dad said, “Royal! What do you think you’re doing? Go to your room this instant!”
As Royal dragged his feet over to his room, his dad added, “Also, your room is a mess so clean it!”
Thirty minutes later, his dad called to him, “Royal, you may come down when your room is clean.”
Before he even finished his sentence, Royal came bounding out of his room.
“My room is all clean and I’m deeply sorry I tried to eat the cake. I really shouldn't have, and it was wrong.” he said
“Well I can see that someone thought things over.” his dad responded. “I need to finish a few things up. Could you play outside for a little bit so I can concentrate?”
A little while later, Royal came scrambling down into the burrow yelling, “She’s home, she’s home!”
“Already? I thought that she was coming home at 4:30! It’s 3:13! She can’t be home yet!” his dad exclaimed as he ran out of the kitchen and headed for the entrance of the burrow.
And she wasn’t. When Royal was in his room, he wasn’t cleaning it. He had cleaned it that morning. Instead he was making a plan to get the cake that he wanted so badly. Here was his plan:
He hopped up on the counter and dipped his finger in the homemade frosting. It was delicious! He was about to dip his finger back in, when he heard a footstep.
Royal spun around and there was his dad.
“Get off the counter this minute! I can’t believe you. You lied to me about being sorry, you lied to me about Ruby coming home early, just so you could eat some cake. Go to your room and don’t come back until I say so.”
Royal slowly walked over to his room. A little while later, he heard his dad calling.
‘‘Royal! You can come back now. Ruby’s here.’’
Royal came down to enjoy the party, and enjoy it he did! His mom’s best friend, Lisa, was the mom of Royal’s best friend, Leonard. Obviously Lisa was invited, and she brought Leonard! Royal and Leo (as Royal called him) played together in Royal’s room. Time flew by and before they knew it, they were being called for cake.
“Leonard! Royal! Time for cake!”
The boys ran out of their room and walked into the dining room where everyone was seated at the oval-shaped table. They took their seats and sang Hoppy Birthday to Ruby.
The cake was passed around. When it got to Royal though, his Dad said " I think you've had enough cake for today." and passed it on to the next rabbit. So Royal just sat there watching everyone else eat the delicious cake while he had none.
The moral of this story is to have patience.
Note: This article was edited with permission to allow the writer anonymity.
The word I choose to describe remote learning is problematic. I know most people probably don’t know the meaning of problematic so I’ll tell you: problematic means uncertain and questionable. Why did she choose problematic, you’re thinking and here's the answer:
I choose problematic because lots of kids are very uncertain about remote learning because of all the problems that can and have occurred. I know I am extremely uncertain about this because of the problems that have and could happen like a kid doesn’t have enough time to finish the school work (happened to me), or the kid doesn’t understand the work because there are not clear enough instructions for the work, and the kid gets a lower grade (also happened to me). These problems make remote learning really stressful for kids and school is not supposed to be stressful, for example I’m struggling with my work because I have a really long list of things to do.
This leads into another meaning for problematic: questionable. I’m positive many students are questioning remote learning because of all the problems, most students when they have a problem email their teachers, so the teachers know there are problems and try to help through email but sometimes even that doesn’t work. I have had one teacher so far try to provide useful links to help students, sadly the links didn’t work but it was an effort. Also because of all the school work students have made school work on the computers their top priority and that might not seem that bad because school is very important but many kids have to watch younger siblings half the day and have numerous chores to help their families during this time. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have school but the amount of work we have to finish might be getting in the way of that. I have two younger siblings and an older sibling, and I have to watch the younger ones most of the week while my parents are working, and everyday my parents are working. I get out of bed and immediately begin my school work because I know I will have to help my siblings and get all my work done. It's hard work in some classes too so it’s not like I finish it quickly.
I will now stop because one) my fingers hurt for typing and two) I don’t have much more to say about remote learning except : I reviewed my peer's answers and noticed how the words they used were so straight forward, I wanted my words to be different and I wanted my words to make whoever reads this think about what I’m saying.
“Beep beep beep!” My alarm clock startled me awake. I was disappointed to find it was morning, for I had been having a wonderful dream; I was the first person on planet Fedora to contact aliens! They had weird, bald light brown skin, long fur on their heads, teensy eyes, and they only had 4 limbs! Can you imagine?
I had been interested in aliens and outer space since I was 50, and now, as a 110-year-old tween, my dream was to be the first person to find them(literally, since I had just had a dream about it). However, my disappointment about morning evaporated when I remembered it was Take Your Kid To Work Day at Fedora’s Space Exploration Headquarters, FSEH for short, the place my dad works at. I’d dreamed of working there since I knew it existed, so today was going to be the best day of my life!
I threw my robes on, gave my fur a quick brush, and hurried downstairs, where our robot, Ezra, was making breakfast. “Hey, Eos. Ready to go?” Dad asked. His name is Evan, and he’s 500 and the best person on Fedora, at least in my opinion. Dad’s really smart, so naturally he’s the one who taught me everything he knows about aliens and outer space, which is basically everything. He always says someday I’m going to surpass him in FSEH, but it sure hasn’t happened yet. For one thing, I’m 110, but Dad says kids can be just as smart as adults, so who knows. My family letter is E, by the way. My best friend Ally’s is A(duh). Once Dad and I were looking at old holograms of our family members, and Dad was telling me their names, and I was appalled by how many names that start with E they had managed to come up with. In case you’re wondering how only 26 letters work for an entire planet, I’ll explain. Each section has exactly 260,000 families, so each letter is repeated 10,000 times. The Council of Section Leaders(CSL) makes sure that they’re divided equally. There are 1,000 sections total, and if my math is correct, each letter is repeated 10,000,000 times. I think the World Council(WC) is obsessed with multiples of 10.
We got in the plane and I was too excited to speak. What if they let me help them look for aliens?! That would make this the single best day of my 110 years on Fedora. 9 minutes later, we were there. As we got off the plane, my jaw hit the ground. In front of us rose a 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet (again with the multiples of 10!) square building, with a gigantic mural of outer space painted on it. I loved it immediately.
Dad watched my face. “I looked like that every day the first year I worked here,” he said. “But you can never really get used to it’s awesomeness, can you?” Still staring open mouthed at the building, I shook my head. “Well, Miss Star Star Struck, we'd better go inside. Don’t want to be late!” Dad said, cheerfully thanking Ezra for the ride and strolling towards the massive doors. They must cram spaceships in there, I thought. I recovered from my shock and followed Dad towards my dreams. Or, if you would prefer, some doors, but I like my version better. They were enormous, portraying people shaking hands with aliens who looked suspiciously like the ones in my dream. Maybe it’s a sign, I thought. Maybe I’m meant to find aliens! I could just see myself now, applauded for being the first person on Fedora to find aliens! I shook myself out of these thoughts. I’d have to get outstanding grades in math and science first, then get through years of college to work at FSEH, like Dad.
I followed Dad into the building, feeling like I was being swallowed by a very large friendly alien. Inside, the mouth of the alien was a wide room, with a few chairs here and there like a lobby, complete with a guy at the front desk. “Hello, Evan.” he smiled at Dad. “Coming in with your daughter?” “Yes, sir.” Dad said, winking at me. “Eos, this is Bob. Bob, Eos.” “Nice to meet you,” he said, and laid his 4 arms, palms up, on the desk. I placed my hands lightly on top of his in greeting. “So where’s your lab, Dad?” I asked, eager to explore this marvelous place. “Just this way,” Dad said. “But I thought you might want to see the monitor room first.” “What’s the monitor room?” I asked eagerly as we walked down a long hallway. It was decorated with pedestals holding holograms of famous employees at FSEH.
“The monitor room is where we try and get a glimpse of aliens,” Dad said with a smile. “What!” I said. “How do you do that?” “I’ll tell you when we get there,” He said with a smile. We rounded a corner and entered the monitor room, and I caught my breath, which was seriously dangerous. If this place got any more amazing, I was going to faint from shortage of breath, which wasn’t the kind of impression I wanted to make on the scientists.
Anyway, the monitor was a huge room bustling with activity. Monitors of huge proportions (hence the name) covered the walls, and people sat in chairs in front of them, or staring at holograms of statistics that wouldn’t have made sense to Ally or any of my other friends, but did to me. I guess all of Dad’s lectures paid off, I thought. “These are footage of the probes we’ve got in the galaxy,” Dad started. “It’s your lucky day, Eos. This is an exciting day. One of our probes, Explorer IX, has entered another solar system.” He pointed excitedly to one of the monitors, in the center of the room. “That one right there. The solar system it found we named The Milky Way for it’s white color.” “Hold on,” I said. “Are you telling me you get to name solar systems?!” “Yep,” Dad said with a smile of his own. “It’s a pretty amazing job. Take a look at the monitor.” I did, and it blew me away.
The monitor showed a small planet with swirling blues. Far away, a bright light shone through the solar system. “That’s the first planet in the system,” Dad explained. “There aren’t any aliens on that one,” I said. Dad’s smile told me I’d gotten it right. “And why not?” said a nearby scientist. “Because it’s too close to the sun,” I said. “You need to try the middle planet.” That might sound calm to you, but inside, I was freaking out. I was standing in FSEH, helping them find aliens! I managed to control my excitement and return my attention to the monitor, which was zooming towards the middle planet. It had white clouds swirling around it, with a blue and green surface. “That one,” I said firmly. “It has to be.” You know, kid, you’re pretty smart.” One of the scientists said. “How'd you like an apprenticeship? We could use you around here.” “A what?” I asked. “It means you come here every week, learning. If you’re good enough, you get a scholarship, and an assured job here. What do you say?” my dad said, then grunted as I hugged him fiercely. “Thank you!” I said. “Do you really think I could be a xenologist?” “Oh, kiddo,” Dad said, squeezing me tight. “You always were.”