MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District invite Bay Area teens to share personal stories about climate change through a storytelling contest open to young people age 13 to 19. Entries may incorporate poetry, photography and video as well as narrative text. Storytellers who submit their tales by May 18 will be eligible for cash prizes, including $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third place. Award winners will be announced June 1.
Conducted in partnership with the Santa Rosa-based Center for Climate Protection's ECO2school program, MTC and the Air District intend the the storytelling contest to keep Bay Area teens engaged with climate change issues despite cancellation of the 2020 Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) conference, due to the shelter-in-place orders prompted by the continuing Covid-19 public health emergency.
Participants are welcome to draw connections between climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, though climate change should be the main backdrop for contestants' messages. A storytelling webinar, storytelling prompts, submission guidelines and frequently asked questions about the contest can be viewed on the ECO2school website.
Each story submitted for the contest will be reviewed by at least two judges, and evaluated on the basis of:
- Personal connection to the storyteller
- Connection to climate-centric values
- Call to Action
The storytelling contest is part of MTC's and the Air District's Spare the Air Youth initiative, which aims to educate, inspire and empower young people and their families to find effective ways to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Spare the Air Youth also supports Safe Routes to School outreach around the Bay Area, and provides a resource for teens, parents, schools and program providers.