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An online current events platform that connects conventional learners in grades 3-12 to the world around them with custom-written current events articles for teacher-led discussions, interactive slides and activities for students to demonstrate understanding.

News Currents

Story Text | Biden Announces American Climate Corps
The American Climate Corps is both a job training and
environmental protection program.
[1] President Biden recently announced the creation of a new federal program for American young adults. This program is called the American Climate Corps. What is a corps? (A group of people all working together to achieve something.) Biden hopes that around 20,000 young people will join the American Climate Corps, and they will work around the country on environmental protection projects.

[2] The American Climate Corps is meant to be a youth jobs program, as well as a job training program. Members of the American Climate Corps will be paid for their work. And hopefully, they will also learn skills that can help them in future jobs. Do you think this program has a chance to make a big difference in people’s lives?

Federal jobs programs do already exist. One of them is AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps has around five million members. They do service work—helping out in schools, working on construction projects, planting trees, and so on. Do you know anyone in AmeriCorps?

The American Climate Corps is working with AmeriCorps, as well as other federal agencies like the Departments of Labor, Energy, and Agriculture. Many have praised Biden’s plan. Others, however, say it’s a waste of government money. Others, however, say the American Climate Corps will actually need to be a lot larger to effectively fight climate change. Do you agree with any of these criticisms? If so, which one? Why?

The American Climate Corps is similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Many observers have drawn comparisons between the American Climate Corps and a similar government program from the 1930s and 40s. This program was called the Civilian Conservation Corps, or the CCC. What is conservation? (Protecting and preserving the environment.)

Over the course of its nine-year existence, around three million people joined the CCC. They helped preserve and protect national forests and parks.
[7] The CCC was created during the Great Depression.
What was the Great Depression? (The worst economic crisis in American history.) Like the American Climate Corps, the CCC was a jobs program as well as a conservation program.

[8] Here, you see President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a CCC camp. Roosevelt was president during most of the Great Depression. He created a series of policies and programs called the New Deal. Have you ever heard of the New Deal? The New Deal was created to help America recover. The CCC was one of the biggest and most successful New Deal programs.

[9] The CCC accomplished many things. Perhaps their greatest achievement was to plant around 3.5 billion trees around the United States.

[10] CCC workers also built shelters, paths, waterwheels, and bridges. Here you see a bridge built by CCC workers that still stands today. Do you know if there are any CCC-built structures in your area?

The CCC officially ended in 1942. But while it hasn’t existed for more than 80 years now, it’s still celebrated by many for its conservation accomplishments. It’s also celebrated as a jobs program that taught millions of young people valuable skills that they kept with them all their lives. Do you think the American Climate Corps will be as successful as the CCC? Why or why not?
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