Young Activists Call for Change

Xavier students accompany the Montessori Lab School at climate strike

By Aleya Justison | Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Instagram
Four-year old Arthur Trout, a student at XULMS, participated in the climate strike last Friday, holding a sign in support of saving the earth.

Xavier Student Sustainability (XSS) and the Montessori Education Club were welcomed by more than 30 students and staff from Xavier’s Montessori Lab School (XUMLS) to participate in their second climate strike on campus last Friday.

With lunch boxes in one hand and protest signs in the other, the goal of middle school students from XULMS was to bring awareness of the climate crisis to the Xavier community.

Seventh grade student Sarah Adams, one of the organizers of the strike, explained the importance of bringing this issue to a college campus.

“It’s good for us to be taking care of ourselves, but something this drastic is so big,” Adams said. “If we have adults and kids help, then it won’t be just us. It’ll be everyone helping us.”

Following the group’s last climate strike on campus, XUMLS student organizers mentioned they felt ignored by Xavier students when they previously protested. As such, members of XSS and the Montessori Education Club were invited to join the middle school students to march in solidarity. With colorful signs raised in the air, they chanted on the academic mall with students as young as three and as old as 22.

The students of XUMLS were inspired by the work of young activist Greta Thunberg, a Swedish girl who skipped school to protest climate change in 2018.

Since then, Thunberg’s voice has been joined by millions of students around the world advocating for climate action. Students at XUMLS and Xavier have decided to follow in these footsteps.

“I found it really inspiring,” Julia Jarvis, a middle school teacher at XUMLS, said. “I thought it was neat that kids were getting involved because (as) adults, we haven’t done enough to change and help solve the climate crisis.”

Jarvis brings a unique perspective to the strike. In addition to being a middle school teacher at XUMLS, she has a Ph.D. in geoscience and wrote her dissertation on ice core chemistry in Greenland and Antarctica.

In addition, Jarvis played the role of a parent at the rally, as her kids were among those who attended. For her, this issue has become very real, both in her research and personally with her childrens’ futures.

At a Montessori school, the methodology of teaching emphasizes student-centered and hands-on teaching. Grace Barden, a Xavier graduate student and teacher at the Extended Care program at XUMLS, commented on how these middle school students are pursing change in their community.

“They are educating our community. They are marching. They are making composts, recycling bins, and educational flyers,” Barden said. “They are advocating for change so that our younger children will have an earth to live on that is full of nature.”

The students of Xavier’s Montessori Lab School will continue their efforts within their school, and they may return to raise more awareness on Xavier’s campus.

Four-year old Arthur Trout had one thing to say about the Earth: “Save it!”