Simotas, Gianaris Meet with ‘Global Kids’ Students to Discuss Climate Change

Students led summer advocacy program “Greening Western Queens”
August 6, 2013

Astoria, N.Y. – On Tuesday, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Senator Michael Gianaris welcomed students and representatives from Global Kids Inc. to their district offices for a discussion of the “Greening Western Queens” summer initiative. The program, run in conjunction with the Horticultural Society of New York, focused on students promoting green rooftops and community-focused gardening.

“Every time I meet with students, it is clear that the number one issue facing their generation is the preservation and protection of the environment,” Simotas explained to the high school student representatives who just completed the four-week green-roofs project. “It is truly encouraging to see young people not only concerned about climate change, but actually taking concrete steps to remedy its effects.”

The summer initiative was part of a larger Global Kids leadership program, the Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP). HRAP Students identify and research human rights issues and develop a campaign for social change, which includes public outreach, direct action, media strategies, meeting with elected officials, and networking with other organizers. “Greening Western Queens” saw students circulate a petition, organize site visits at community gardens and green spaces, conduct in-depth research, and launch their very own rooftop garden. The ultimate goal is to eventually have at least one school with a rooftop garden in every borough.

“It is inspiring to see our young people be so active in fighting climate change,” Gianaris said. “The work of Global Kids and the Greening Western Queens project should remind us that it is incumbent upon all of us to leave the world in good shape for future generations.”

Global Kids Inc. was founded in 1989 and since then has grown into an organization serving more than 14,000 students and educators in New York City and beyond, receiving national recognition for exemplary practices in international education, digital media programming, experiential learning, and youth development.