The Vermont Youth Lobby Presents
1st Annual Youth Rally for the Planet
Thursday, April 28th 2016
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to organize a field trip at your school. This is one of the most important challenges humanity has ever faced and every student who is able to attend will only add strength to the climate change movement!
Note: Please forward all pertinent information in this letter to your students!
Bus Drop-Off & Parking
We are asking school busses to drop off students at the Vermont College of Fine Arts green between 9am and 10am. If your school will be arriving after 10am, we request that you drop off students directly at the Vermont Statehouse and skip the march. After dropping off students, bus drivers can find ample parking either in the front parking lot at Montpelier High School (the dirt parking lot) or at the State of Vermont Department of Labor parking lot. Parking for cars is available in many locations throughout Montpelier, but we will post more information on our website once we receive it.
We are asking busses to pick students up on the side of the Statehouse between 1:20 pm and 2:00pm. Some schools will need to leave earlier than others, so if you can hold off on picking up your students until closer to 2:00pm that would be very helpful. Earlier pickup is also possible, though you may miss closing remarks. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to leave early.
The march from the VCFA green to the Statehouse Lawn will begin promptly at 10:15. All marchers are required to stay in one lane of the road and obey all instructions given by the parade marshals.
Code of Conduct
- Please share with your students how special this event is and remind them be respectful at all times. All normal school rules apply.
- Please remind students that this is a rally, not a protest. We are encouraging all students to be positive and productive.
- Please remind students to be good environmental stewards by picking up trash whenever and wherever they see it. We want to leave the Montpelier cleaner than we found it. Remember to leave no trace.
- Please encourage your students to dress up for the event and look professional.
Please Pack A Waste-Free Lunch
Our goal is to produce as little trash as possible and give all attendees opportunities to recycle and compost. Here are a few simple steps to help you pack a lunch that is waste free!
- Ditch the brown bag and choose a reusable lunchbox or lunch bag instead.
- Use a cloth napkin (i.e., one that can be washed and re-used) instead of paper napkins or towels. 3. Pack metal utensils instead of plastic.
- Use a refillable water or juice bottle (i.e., don’t pack juice boxes and plastic water bottles).
- Avoid single serve packaging; buy your food in bulk and pack in reusable containers.
Do not use plastic bags. Remember to compost your food scraps at the end of lunch, recycle any plastic containers (that is not a reusable one from home) and bring home any containers, napkins or utensils to be washed and used again! This small change will end up making a big difference.
Banners and Posters – Check out the following Google Document for more specific suggestions…
While there will be some supplies and an opportunity to create banners and signs from 9am-10am at the Vermont College of Fine Arts green, we are highly recommending that schools create most of their signs ahead of time.
We are asking each school to create a large banner identifying the school they are from.
We are also asking that students bring their banners and signs back to their schools and use them to create some sort of large art installation that can be used to educate other students about the event. We’d love to get photos of these art installations for use in video that is being produced about the day.
Banners and posters can have general messages about taking action on climate change or more specific messages that support some or all of the following actions:
- Divest from Fossil Fuels
- Support the Carbon Pollution Tax
- Invest in Renewable Energy Solutions
- Stop the VGS Pipeline
Tabling and Scavenger Hunt
There will be a number of tables where students can learn more about climate change, energy alternatives, and proposed climate change legislation. Students who take the opportunity to learn from these resources will have the chance to win some great prizes toward the end of the rally.
Please advise students to avoid making claims about issues they do not fully understand. We don’t want to give anybody the chance to delegitimize the entire rally by capturing clips of uninformed or misinformed young people. Please explain to your students that it is perfectly fine to say, “I’m not sure, that is why I am here, to learn more about these important issues.”
Below are some useful resources to share with your students to help them become better informed about climate change and proposed legislative efforts to address the problem.
- Do The Math (45 Minute Climate Change Documentary produced by Bill McKibben and 350.org)
- Proposed VT Carbon Pollution Tax
- How 350.org Works
- The 350 Movement in 90 Seconds
- Disruption (Documentary)
- Divestment in Vermont
- Stop the Fracked Gas Pipeline – Rising Tide
- Merchants of Doubt (excellent film that exposes the truth about climate change denial)
- Our Keynote Speaker’s TEDx Performance
350VT is collecting funds for the Youth Lobby Day. All donations will go directly to the Youth Lobby Organizing group. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law; no goods or services were received in exchange for this donation.
Please SEND CHECKS TO:
255 S. Champlain St., Suite 11
Burlington, VT 05401
Or DONATE ONLINE:
350VT is a 501(c)3 organization (tax ID 46-3647561)
|Matt Henchen (Adult Mentor)
(802) 324-4521 (email preferred)
Agenda for the Day
9:00am – 10:00am Busses arrive at the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA)
Each bus will be met by a member of our event staff who will review the day’s activities and go over the expected code of conduct. While we highly recommend that schools create their own signs and banners before the event, there will also be materials available on the VCFA Green to create additional signs and banners.
10:00 – 10:15 Pre-March Staging on the VCFA Green
Schools who arrive to the VCFA lawn by 10:00am will be given directions to join their school-related groups and get in line for the march. The march will begin sharply at 10:15am.
10:15 – 10:45 March to the Statehouse Lawn
Students will march with their school groups along one side of the road to the Statehouse Lawn, being careful not to disrupt the flow of traffic on the other side of the road.
10:30 – 11:00 Jam Band Music & Climate Change Educational Scavenger Hunt on the Lawn
Peace in the Valley, a student band from the Mad River Valley will begin playing music at 10:30am. Students will be encouraged to visit all of the booths on the lawn. There will be booths related to the basics of climate change, alternative and clean energy alternatives, divestment and carbon pollution tax legislation, Vermont gas pipeline, waste and compost, climate change denial, among many other topics. This will truly be an educational and informative event! Students will be encouraged to learn as much as they can by engaging in a scavenger hunt, which can lead to amazing prizes!
11:00 – 11:45 Introductory remarks by various speakers including Governor Peter Shumlin speaking on the issue of divestment
There will be some introductory remarks by various speakers on the topic of climate change and climate change related legislation.
11:45 – 12:30 Performance by Headphone Jack and the Splitters
After a last-minute cancellation by Xiuhtezcatl, UVM college student and VPIRG intern Jack Hanson offered to entertain and inform us along with his band.
12:30 – 1:00 Zero-Waste Lunch on the Lawn, Musical Performances, Speakers, and Ongoing Scavenger Hunt
Students can find a nice place on the lawn to share the zero-waste lunch they brought with them and listen to some more great music. We’re also working on getting some free ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s! And, of course, you can also finish your scavenger hunt as well.
1:00 – 1:15 Closing Remarks, Call for Further Action, Scavenger Hunt Drawing for Prizes, and Collective Singing of the Vermont State Song
We will close our day with our drawing for prizes, brief closing remarks, and the collective singing of the Vermont State Song, These Green Mountains.
1:15 – 2:00 Staggered Bus Pickups, More Music, Collective Clean-Up of the Lawn
After everybody chips in to pick up the Statehouse lawn, schools will meet their busses at their assigned time and place. There may be ongoing and related festivities not sponsored by the VT Youth Lobby.
10 Things Students Can Do to Make A Difference
1)Contact your legislators and thank them for their support or encourage them to support legislative action on climate change
- List of Vermont Senators and Representatives that voted in favor of Divestment – Send them a big Thank You!
- If you do not see your local representative on that list, send them a quick note or make a brief phone call asking them why they do not support divestment and encourage them to do so.
3) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of divestment!
5) Ask your town’s Selectboard to support divestment!
6) Volunteer with 350VT at local events!
7) Encourage your teachers to send a note in favor of divestment. This is especially powerful since they are the beneficiaries of the VT pension.
8) Get educated and educate others
9) Sign the Exxon Knew online petition
10) Spread the word in any way you can via social media!