Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-139
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-139
19 Jan 2024
 | 19 Jan 2024

Climate READY: A three-semester youth empowerment program

Rachel L. Wellman, Anne Henderson, Ray Coleman, Christopher Hill, and Bradford T. Davey

Abstract. The Climate Resilience Education and Action for Dedicate Youth (Climate READY) program, developed by the Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center (FAU Pine Jog) and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Program, built climate literacy and community resilience through a three-semester dual enrollment program (NOAA-SEC-OED-2020-2006190). Most student participants (~80 %) were from Title-1, high schools in low socio-economic communities vulnerable to extreme weather and environmental hazards in Palm Beach County, Florida. The main objectives were to

  1. increase knowledge of South Florida’s changing climate systems,
  2. teach and promote environmentally responsible behavior that results in the stewardship of healthy ecosystems and a reduction in carbon consumption to mitigate future environmental risks, and
  3. empower students to act as agents of change within the community by teaching community members about local climate impacts and resilience strategies for extreme weather events.

Students in the Climate READY Ambassador Institute (Summer Semester 1) built climate knowledge, explored NOAA technology, engaged with scientists and resilience experts, developed communication and advocacy skills, and learned about local resilience solutions. An Afterschool Mentorship (Fall Semester 2) component paired new Climate READY Ambassadors with fourth- and fifth- grade afterschool students to build community resilience awareness through the creation of storybooks. Lastly, Community Outreach (Spring Semester 3) provided ways to share local resilience strategies at public events and promoted civic engagement in climate solutions. Data were collected from students in the form of pre- and post-assessment questionnaires during the 2022–2023 academic year. Summative statistics were analyzed for climate science knowledge, self-identity, self-efficacy, and sense of place. Students felt more prepared, confident, and able to communicate within their communities about climate change and many demonstrated a significantly better understanding of climate science concepts.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Rachel L. Wellman, Anne Henderson, Ray Coleman, Christopher Hill, and Bradford T. Davey

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-139', Eleanor Burke, 13 Feb 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Rachel Wellman, 30 May 2024
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-139', Jan Cincera, 05 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Rachel Wellman, 30 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-139', William Finnegan, 15 May 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Rachel Wellman, 06 Jun 2024
  • EC1: 'Lead guest ed comment on egusphere-2024-139', David Crookall, 11 Jun 2024
Rachel L. Wellman, Anne Henderson, Ray Coleman, Christopher Hill, and Bradford T. Davey
Rachel L. Wellman, Anne Henderson, Ray Coleman, Christopher Hill, and Bradford T. Davey

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Short summary
The Climate Resilience and Education for Dedicated Youth (Climate READY) Program was designed to teach 15–18-year-old students in low socioeconomic communities to be agents of change in their community and to help prepare South Florida for the hazards of climate change. Students were taught the basics of climate, ways to be resilient to change, and how to become engaged with their communities. Students felt more prepared, confident, and able to communicate within their communities.