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CSS students finish first in statewide climate art contest

Two students from Contentnea-Savannah K-8 school are state winners in a contest sponsored by the NC Climate Education Network designed to engage students with climate issues through poetry, art and photography.

Molly White, a fifth grader, won first place in the elementary poetry category and Alexandra (Ally) Garcia-Mendez, an eighth grader, won first place in the middle school art category.

The NC Climate Resiliency Contest drew 157 entries in the three creativity divisions. Twenty-eight students submitted poems and 103, drawings.

Fifth grade girl with strawberry blond hair For the two CSS students, the contest came to light when their science classes took up the topic of “pollution and all the bad stuff that’s going around,” as Molly put it.

Her poem references global warming, wild fires, the degradation of coral reefs and other environmental concerns, but it also “has some funny stuff in it,” she said.

It begins:

The ice starts to melt, 

And so do the poor polar bears' hearts. 

All because you drove your Hummer to the mini mart!

Ally’s poster features an overheated Earth sweating and fanning itself and the caption, “We need to change before our planet does.”

Latina 8th grader with black hair and glasses The poster aims “to warn people what the world is going through,” Ally said. “Our world is kind of like dying because people are polluting it so much. It’s something we need to change because we’re going in the wrong direction right now.”

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina Sea Grant and the State Climate Office have teamed up to create the NC Climate Education Network in an effort “to provide resources and inspiration for all educators interested in learning about climate education in North Carolina,” according to the network’s website.

Climate resilience considers what can be done to prepare for and respond to events and trends related to climate.

As Molly’s poem concludes:

The world is resilient, but only if you do your part. 

And the people who are willing to help Earth are off the chart!

8th grader's artwork showing Earth character sweating and fanning itself