SLS: Student Leadership in Sustainability
SLS: Student Leadership in Sustainability is an extensive education curriculum offering that inspires youth to connect, understand, and respond to the environmental and social challenges facing our planet. This comprehensive suite of flexible, experiential, project and inquiry-based curriculum materials helps students connect global issues to local solutions by learning about the local and global challenges we face, questioning our worldviews, participating in hands-on local activities, and taking specific, measurable actions with their classmates and family. SLS fosters the development of student leadership skills by engaging the curiosity and passion of youth to lead and be the change in their lives, households, schools, and communities. We believe education should engage the head, heart, and hands of our youth, and that teachers have the opportunity to learn about our changing environments and how to take action alongside their students. SLS is also available in French and Distance Learning formats. Learn more.
Professional Development workshops
Our professional development workshops have been delivered to hundreds of teachers who are interested in learning about our leading edge curricular and pedagogical tools to engage their students' inquiry, both inside and outside the classroom, on environmental sustainability. Through this workshop, participants gain a greater understanding of a values-based, action-oriented approach to environmental education and the 21st-century pedagogical approaches to empowering student leadership in sustainability. Teachers that use SLS in their classrooms find that being grounded in the pedagogy and approaches is extremely helpful, and non-SLS teachers leave more equipped with change models to apply to their various classrooms. Learn more.
Waste Watchers is a regional initiative that engages students in local zero waste solutions through hands-on education and research that empowers personal and school-wide projects. In this initiative, a Be The Change facilitator comes into the school and supports a class or club in conducting an educational waste audit, where students sort the trash, discuss the issues associated to what they see, collect measurable data to give the school, and then take on one or more waste-reduction projects at their school. Their waste projects are informed by our Waste Watchers toolkit and our experience in conducting waste projects in schools in three different districts over the last 3 years. This was originally a high school initiative, but we recently have had more elementary schools sign up and benefit from the offering. Waste Watchers is currently sponsored by the Greenest City Fund. Learn more.
Zero Waste Workshops
In partnership with the City of Vancouver, BTCEA is offering zero waste workshops to grade 9 classes in Vancouver schools. The workshop connects the waste challenges we face locally and globally to zero waste initiatives and worldviews, supporting individual action and the 'greening' of Vancouver schools. It explores the issue of waste in detail, introducing students to waste-related topics such as recycling, disposables, Vancouver's litter problem, and over-consumption. Students are invited to explore waste-related topics and to take personal actions and give short presentations to their fellow students about potential actions and solutions to the waste problem. Learn more.
Social Innovation Lab
BTCEA is working within B.C.’s education system to influence the development of a school culture that nurtures environmentally conscious citizens. To this end, BTCEA has embarked on a social innovation design process that will bring educational stakeholders through a series of social innovation lab workshops to prototype school-based activities, projects, and initiatives that will empower sustainable culture change in schools. We are currently in the development stage, which is supported by the Vancouver Foundation. BTCEA Founder Maureen Jack-LaCriox is heading up this initiative which is closely connected to her PhD work and is collaborating with BTCEA staff, connecting all our initiatives and education communities. Learn more here.
The Awaken and Change Community Symposium is a thought-provoking, challenging, and deeply moving multimedia presentation that features the combined wisdom of such international luminaries as Julia Butterfly Hill, Paul Hawken, Brian Swimme, Maude Barlowe, Van Jones and Desmond Tutu. Through a powerful combination of rich audiovisual materials, cutting-edge information, and personal reflection exercises, trained facilitators lead participants through an exploration of critical questions about our relationship with the planet. This was one of BTCEA's core and initial community offerings, and recent requests may have our team do more of them again. Learn more here.
The Be The Change Action Guide is your map to an exciting journey of personal choices, leading you to an empowered lifestyle and expanded worldview that will help sustain your health, your spirit, and the planet. This workbook covers a full range of lifestyle choices and helps us become aware of how every single action we take either supports or undermines our vision for a sustainable, just, and fulfilling future for all life. The Action Guide is also well matched with our Action Circle Facilitators guide that we offer freely. Over the years, BTCEA has supported dozens of small groups in taking on personal and community actions with the help of our circle process and Action Guide. Learn more and get a copy.
In the works...
Climate Action Champions
The Climate Action Champion Initiative will educate and engage youth in individual, home, school, and neighbourhood climate actions. Through various district, school, and community activities, the Climate Action Champions program will educate, inspire, and support youth, their families, and neighbourhoods to reduce their ecological footprint through workshops, assemblies, and class and environment club support. CAC will involve a school-based engagement component, the development of an online action tracker (or done through partnership), and a district-wide Climate Action Week public engagement campaign, with a similar model to the well-known Bike to Work week. This initiative has been proposed and will be available upon funding approval.
Community Resiliency Series
We are at a time where we cannot simply focus on mitigating the environmental and social challenges the globe faces, but also need to make sure we are prepared to adapt and be strong in the face of changing environmental and social climates. BTCEA’s proposed ‘We are Resilient’ workshop series will support Vancouver residents in being personally resilient, as well build resilient environments and communities as we face the challenges posed by climate change, resource depletion, divisiveness from each other and our natural world, and challenging social and global environments. Ultimately, we want to support our greater community with tools and networks to build our capacity to be resilient and to take action around being prepared vs. in denial. Workshops will likely address resiliency needs and resources, build participant knowledge, capacity and trust, inform policy and practice, and create a local culture informed by core resiliency principles. These workshops will also inform new curriculum resources and workshops for middle and high school students. This initiative is in the development phase and will be pending funding and community support.