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The Gordon School

"If any school can do this, it's Gordon"

above: two eighth graders who wrote a letter, quoted below, asking that Gordon be represented at Friday's  Global Climate Strike

A letter from Head of School Dr. Noni Thomas López

Dear Families,

On Friday, September 20th, a Global Climate Strike will take place. This is the third such event, organized in a large part by youth. In Rhode Island, the event will be recognized by a march beginning in Burnside Park followed by a rally at the State House.

Many people have reached out to Gordon to ask how the school is participating in this event, including, most notably, two eighth graders who wrote a letter that included these passages:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

These words echo through the ears of Gordon students of all ages, as each and every day we are reminded that the only change we can rely on is the change we bring about ourselves. These words are a beacon of hope in a world where such hope is desperately needed. They remind us that the youth of today have a voice, that the youth of today can stand up, so that someday, there will be a youth of tomorrow....

If there are students from the Gordon School at this strike, then we show that our school refuses to live inside a bubble, only making a change in a microcosm of a world, already so receptive to progress as it is. It refuses to stay complacent in a world where such complacency could result in an irreversible change that will condemn all future life on Earth. Gordon students strive to be role models, and this is a way to do it. We will inspire others to take action, and we will become part of a huge step towards saving our Earth....

If any school can do this, it's Gordon. 

To put it simply, we want to be there, on the steps of the State House. As a grade, as a community, as a family. We want to stand, surrounded by people making a difference, and know that we belong among them, that change can start with us, too. 

The students' letter is a testament to the collective work Gordon does around teaching and guiding students to take initiative, be empathic and think beyond themselves.

To honor their request, and to acknowledge their own thoughtful initiative to take action, the Middle School has arranged for the twenty seventh and eighth graders of the Sustainability in Action elective to attend the strike in Providence during the school day from 10am-1:15pm. They will be accompanied by a number of adults from the school, including their teachers Cushman Gillen and Angela Flynn.

The Sustainability in Action elective is one of a number of science, engineering and design classes that meet weekly during the Wednesday Innovation block in seventh and eighth grade. Other electives include Creative Coding with Javascript, the MathCounts Video Challenge and the competitive robotics team.

This week, Gordon faculty are finding ways to show their support for the seventh and eighth graders, and administration is creating opportunities for the students to share their experience with the rest of the school community.

I also know that a number of Gordon parents plan to bring their children to the State House on Friday, and those families have the full support of the school.

For more information about Friday's event at the State House, please see this page. For more on the global effort, Gordon's faculty are using these resources:
Youth Climate Strike
Earth Guardians 
Global Climate Strike

I'm proud to work in a community where this kind of courageous leadership is valued. This letter, and this action, is a culmination of work that begins with the very young, in Gordon's classrooms and in Gordon families' homes. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to me.

Take care,
Noni Thomas López
Head of School


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