This Earth Day, we are featuring submission from students at Butler Montessori. After listening to their presentation at the 2023 Montessori Experience: Refresher Courses & More, we are proud to showcase these youth who are moving from rhetoric to action.
Save The Earth Project (STEP) Our Story – Our Future
By: Alvin, Grady, Imani, Ken, and Max
Save The Earth Project (STEP) is a climate service organization created by a group of Butler Montessori students: Alvin, Grady, Imani, Ken, and Max. At the February 2020 Montessori Model United Nations Conference, young climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor spoke about climate change and inspired us to take action. When we returned to Butler Montessori, the five of us couldn’t stop thinking about what we could do better for our local environment. Thus, STEP was created.
In the beginning, we had big plans for STEP: to go on beach clean-ups, hold fundraisers, and implement more green products in our schools. As a result of the pandemic, however, many of our plans were put on hold. However, in our last year all together at Butler, we committed to doing all that we could to further STEP. We participated in a Fridays For Future Ribbon Strike, hosted a campus-wide trash collecting competition for the younger classes at our school, an Earth Day assembly and street chalk, and more. While we had a somewhat unclear vision of where our organization would go once we all went off to high school, we committed ourselves to keeping STEP going and growing it into a larger organization with international reach.
We are starting to ramp things up, and hope to do more as the years go on! This year we have been focusing on redesigning STEP chapters to be accessible in more schools, solidifying our mission and vision, and getting out the word about who we are. Most recently we were invited to speak at the 2023 AMI/USA Montessori Experience event in Baltimore. We gave a presentation to Montessori teachers, parents, and administrators about STEP’s past efforts and what we are hoping to do in the future of the organization.
Our main goal is to expand. We hope to extend our organization all across the country, and hopefully the world, one chapter at a time. We want to open STEP chapters anywhere we can, whether that school be Montessori, public, private, or anything in between. Once we open more chapters, we can reach and educate a much larger audience, and plan bigger, more exciting initiatives, specifically designed for youth to make a meaningful impact in the fight against climate change.
Another thing we are extremely excited about is the Montessori & Adolescent Practitioners Symposium (MAPS) where we hope to hold our very first STEP Summit! We are partnering with Train Montessori to invite adolescents from STEP chapters to Denver in October 2023. We plan to have many representatives of our chapters present what they have done as their passion projects, and what they plan to do in the future. It is an opportunity for students to meet and collaborate with one another, and to strengthen STEP’s impact.
It started with just the five of us in 2020. But now, STEP is becoming a much larger group of Upper Elementary and Adolescent students who are dedicated to climate action. As founders, we are committed to furthering our efforts in our individual schools more than ever. Chapters you can expect to see in the future are the Poolesville High School Chapter (Poolesville, MD) the Our Lady of Good Counsel High School Chapter (Olney, MD), and of course where it all began, the Butler Montessori Chapter (Darnestown, MD). We hope to add many more chapters to this list!
These are our goals. Our mission is to empower youth and adolescents to make change in their community. We want them to know that you can make a difference as a young person. STEP has always been an amazing idea for us. We are so excited to finally have a clear path into the future and are ready for what we decide to tackle next. We hope you can join us moving forward and we hope to be in contact with you soon!
Are you ready to take the next step to save the earth? Get in touch with us for a free STEP chapter kit that includes our goals and mission, STEP swag and more. To request your free chapter kit, please contact us at:
@savetheearthproject_2020 on Instagram
@stepproject2020 on Twitter
About Our Authors
Alvin is a 9th grade student at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. He is an aspiring engineer and hopes to create something more green for the world. He wants to help bring awareness and guide people to take action to save the earth.
Grady is a 9th grade student at St. John’s Catholic Prep. He is interested in medicine, and likes art and graphic design. In addition, he is very passionate about baseball. He’s really happy with how S.T.E.P has turned out and is very excited to see it progress in the future.
Imani is a 9th grade Humanities Magnet student at Poolesville High School. She is interested in psychology, business, and writing. She’s excited to tackle the global issue that is climate change and create a better world for our generation.
Ken is a 9th year student at Butler Montessori. He is interested in helping his community change and preventing the effect of climate change one step at a time. In addition, he is interested in many different physical activities such as soccer, swimming, biking, etc.
Max is a 9th year student at Butler Montessori. He is passionate about helping his community and the rest of the world become more green. His interests include hockey, cooking, and gaming.
STEP meeting: watching a documentary about the global water crisis.
STEP initiative: chalking the driveway with messages for Earth Day.
Presenting at the Montessori Experience in Baltimore.
Meeting with Dr. Ayize Sabater, AMI/USA’s Executive Director.
Celebrating a successful presentation at the Montessori Experience!