A schoolgirl inspired by Greta Thunberg has joined a national committee developing green education in schools across the country.
Isla Lester, 10, from Dorchester, is one of 22 young members of the first-ever National Eco Committee – which has been tasked with ‘greening’ the national scheme.
The sixth-grader from Dorchester Middle School has been campaigning for the environment since a young age.
As a student at Damers First School, she joined the school’s eco club which fueled her passion for environmental activism, her father Ben said.
“As soon as she got to Isla, she ran with it,” he said.
“She started talking to MPs when she was only six or seven, which was quite surprising because she’s very quiet. She really surprised us all with everything she did.
“I don’t think she realizes at the moment all the things she does and the impact it has had.”
Among Isla’s many accomplishments are being an ambassador for a children’s radio station in Australia and appearing on ITV Meridian News to talk about litter in lockdown, particularly the high number of discarded disposable masks. She also took part in the CPRE Litter in Lockdown study, speaking at an online event attended by MPs.
A future project for Isla will be to ensure that teachers educate their students about the environment with as much passion as possible.
She said: “I think it’s really important that we onboard teachers who are passionate about teaching the environment, so that these lessons can be exciting and fun with lots of hands-on and written learning opportunities. is important that we show children and young people that anyone, regardless of ability, can make a big or small difference.”
Mr. Lester and Isla’s mother, Anna Balistrari, and the teachers at Dorchester Middle School are extremely proud of Isla’s environmental achievements.
Mr Lester said: “Now the eco committee has been launched, Isla will be attending regular meetings.
“She’s very inspired by Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough. It’s hard to keep up with everything she does. Sometimes with everything that’s going on, you feel a bit like her personal assistants!”