By: Reney Waters, Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern, and Follow South Jersey Staff
SOUTH JERSEY — Beginning in the school years 2022-2023 climate change can now be incorporated in educators lesson plans in the New Jersey school districts for students K-12.
The New Jersey State Board of Education approved First Lady Tammy Murphy’s persuasion to make New Jersey the first state worldwide. The new initiative will be across seven content areas in each grade level, according to The New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS): Comprehensive Health, 21st Century Life and Careers, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages.
Mathematics and English Language Arts are not subject to change due to a five-year review cycle under the Murphy Administration.
“This Generation of students will feel the impact of climate change more than any other, and beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, our students will be the first and only in the nation to have climate change education incorporated at every grade level.” Murphy said.
Teachers will have to include the new standards in their lessons, and students will learn the impact climate change has on local communities and how to act to be able to face real life challenges of climate change. Students will be instructed by webinars and instructional strategies. Activities and projects will also be provided for students to receive a full understanding and importance of climate change.
On the heels of this new educational initiative comes the Murphy administration’s Interagency Council on Climate Resilience release of its final version of the state’s first Climate Change Resiliency Strategy, a science-based blueprint for protecting New Jersey’s vulnerable communities, environment, economy, and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The strategy “outlines six state priorities to guide state and local government climate action and includes over 100 recommendations to strengthen New Jersey against climate impacts, including sea-level rise, chronic flooding, rising temperatures, and more frequent and intense storm events,” the governor’s office stated.
“Climate change is the single greatest long-term threat facing humanity, and as Tropical Storm Ida made painfully clear in September, New Jersey’s climate change risks are already manifesting across the state,” said Governor Murphy. “These risks will only worsen in the years to come, with potentially devastating impacts to our communities, economy, public health, and the daily lives of all New Jerseyans. The Climate Change Resiliency Strategy outlines decisive and intentional action that will secure a more climate resilient future for New Jersey.”
The statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy’s six priorities are the following:
1. Build Resilient and Healthy Communities
2. Strengthen the Resilience of New Jersey’s Ecosystems
3. Promote Coordinated Governance
4. Invest in Information and Increase Public Understanding
5. Expand Resilience Funding and Financing
6. Coastal Resilience Plan
To view the statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/climatechange/resilience-strategy.html.
For more information on the new educational standards for climate change, visit https://www.nj.gov/education/standards/climate/.
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