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I'm writing to nominate the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) for the 2011 Climate Change Communicators of the Year Award for their incredible accomplishments in communicating to hundreds of thousands of high school students about climate change in creative and dynamic ways.
In just two years of existence, ACE has risen quickly to become the nation’s leading climate organization focused on high schoolers. They have managed to take a complex subject and make it compelling to hard-to-reach teens, presenting to over 640,000+ high school students nationwide in less than 2 years. Their unique multimedia, animated presentation, delivered by dynamic, young, performance arts-trained presenters has proven to be able to reach students in a way that sticks. A recent study in the Chicago Public Schools showed that ACE contributed to a 58% improvement in climate science understanding amongst students.
ACE also has a model that is action-oriented and leaves a lasting impact, having set up over 600 “Action Teams” at schools to date. These action teams are working to reduce emissions at their schools, encourage behavioral change in their fellow students, and working to make their voices heard at a higher level. In 2009, ACE collected over 30,000 signatures on their petition to “declare independence from fossil fuels”, which they presented to members of Congress.
ACE's accomplishments are impressive by the numbers, but qualitative feedback from their target audience indicates the same. ACE has received rave reviews from teachers, students, and administrators that you can find here: http://acespace.org/about/buzz.
ACE is also careful to bring climate change education to schools that is credible, scientifically rigorous, and non-partisan, which has allowed them to reach students across “red” and “blue” states. ACE has a council of scientific advisors from the IPCC to Stanford University that helps to review their content, and provide assurance to school teachers and administrators.
I hope you’ll consider this nomination for ACE for the 2011 Climate Change Communicators of the Year Award. I truly believe they are one of the most effective organizations working in the climate change area right now, reaching incredible numbers of one of the hardest-to-reach audiences, in a way that is clearly having an impact.