BUILDING RESILIENT SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES IN NEW YORK CITY
The aim of the RiSC program and curriculum is to educate youth in NYC schools about climate science, climate impacts, climate justice, and the natural and built solutions that increase climate resiliency. RiSC engages students in knowledge-sharing and provides access to hands-on projects - like tree planting and dune restoration - that mitigate the impacts of extreme weather. The program also creates opportunities for meaningful interactions with community members, resilience practitioners and decision makers in NYC.
In 2020-23, RiSC expanded from five to ten schools, including two in Cape May County, New Jersey. The program is connecting students - who live or attend school in Coney Island and New Jersey - to residents and community partners in those communities. In New York, this includes the Coney Island Beautification Project. Through a series of field-based activities from an adapted RiSC curriculum, students are increasing their awareness of future climate impacts.
Through boat trips in New York Harbor and tree planting, the Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC) (2019-2020) engaged students in learning about coastal flooding, urban heat island and climate justice. Students planted several native trees on their school campuses to mitigate extreme heat. RiSC helped them to understand the critical links between climate justice and climate resilience. Partners included BioBoat, the American Littoral Society, Trees New York, Kid Power Academy, and Huffman Studio, Inc. which made an award-winning documentary about the program, It's Our Future. Read more here.
The Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC) (2016-2019) was a partnership between Brooklyn College, the National Wildlife Federation, the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, New York Sea Grant, and six NYC Department of Education public schools. The partners and most of the original schools have remained with the program. Read more about RiSC here.