Climate change is real and it is happening now. We must double our efforts to tackle our climate crisis in a way that will benefit our environment and every New Jerseyan.
As a charter member of former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Action Fund, I have long sought to galvanize support to fight climate change. Now in a state that is making its mark as a national leader in clean energy, I am determined to help Phil ensure New Jersey’s place at the top.
On June 3rd 2020, the First Lady and the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) announced that New Jersey is now the first state in the nation to incorporate climate change education across its K-12 learning standards!
In the face of the looming climate change crisis, New Jersey is building a green economy that will create thousands of good jobs. We must therefore ensure we have a workforce ready to take on that future. New Jersey will need climate literate, innovative policy makers, data analysts, entrepreneurs, urban planners, researchers, anthropologists, economists, artists, and more.
In March of 2019, First Lady Tammy Murphy began working with the DOE’s Standards Review Team to incorporate climate change education into the Learning Standards, including over 130 educators from across the state, who had been charged with reviewing and revising our student learning standards, a process that occurs every five years.
The New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) outline what is taught in New Jersey’s public schools and set the foundation for school districts to craft instruction and curricula.
With these new standards, climate change education will be now incorporated across seven content areas—21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. Climate change standards have also been added to the appendices of the Mathematics and English Language Arts guidelines, which will be reviewed in 2022. The standards will begin implementation starting September 2021.
Now New Jersey’s children will be better equipped to combat the climate crisis, thrive in the future green economy, and become the leaders who will take New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
Together with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, First Lady Tammy Murphy launched #GoGreenNJ, a social media campaign to promote simple tips that New Jerseyans can do to help protect the environment and reduce the impacts of climate change. Each week, the First Lady shares weekly environmental tips on topics such as conserving water, saving energy, and recycling to encourage others to preserve our natural resources.
Fighting climate change can seem daunting, but by breaking it down into simple, everyday tips, everyone can do their part!