Texas Border Business
PHARR – Wearing their school uniforms and proudly carrying posters with climate change messages, over 200 Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) elementary and high school students and their teachers marched the streets in Pharr to join the Global Climate event in solidarity with millions around the world on Friday, Sept. 20.
“Don’t let us down, climate change now!” they chanted as they made their way to Pharr City Hall.
The organized walkout was possible thanks to the support of PSJA ISD leaders and the City of Pharr. The walkout included students from Marcia Garza Elementary, PSJA Early College HS, PSJA North Early College HS, PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College HS, and Buell Central HS who marched together to Pharr City Hall.
“This is a step to make the change our world needs,” said Amy Escalante a senior at PSJA T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS during the march. “This brings awareness to students. We even have elementary schools here. It’s important for them to see that they are not too young to make a change and make their voices heard.”
Escalante is one of many PSJA ISD students learning about sustainability and environmental awareness through their curriculum and extracurricular organizations.
“Our students marched to show that PSJA ISD is with the whole world on climate change. We care about the future and we have to educate our students,” said Buell Central High School Principal Mario Bracamontes. “The way our district has done it is to embed Sustainability Goals into the State’s standard curriculum.”
At PSJA ISD, students get to learn about sustainability and environmental awareness through their curriculum and extracurricular organizations. In addition, many are learning about nature and the environment through outdoor classrooms that feature native habitat gardens. As part of an initiative called Buell Green, Inc., PSJA ISD students from middle school and high school employ a variety of project-based learning activities focused on sustainability and conservation inside and outside the classroom. Some of their many projects include hydroponic and aquaponics gardens, sustainable agriculture through vertical gardening, organic composting, and even the use of renewable energy through their own solar-powered golf cart and wind energy kite project.
As a result, PSJA ISD’s local global climate event was held to join in solidarity with the world as marches are taking place in more than 150 countries ahead of the United Nations General Assembly and the Climate Action Summit to be held Sept. 23, according to CBS News. The international events are organized by young people as part of the “Fridays for the Future” campaign to encourage students to demand action from their leaders to address climate change.
For the PSJA ISD students joining in solidarity with millions around the world, it was an unforgettable learning experience.
“We need to save our planet,” said Alexia Mendez, a 5th grader at Marcia Garza Elementary. “Once it’s too late we can’t do anything. Doing this march meant a lot. I feel confident because we all came here to convince people to save our planet.”