As some of you know I’ve been on the board of Be The Change Earth Alliance (BTCEA) for the past several years. I’m on the BTCEA Board because I believe in their mission— reaching young people in schools with an empowering curriculum on environmental sustainability.
I’m writing to ask you to donate (tax deductible, just in time for year end) to their crowd-funding campaign that starts in a few days. It’s not Kickstarter, but similar.
These are dark times for young people to grow up in: climate change mega-disasters, species extinction, plastic pollution choking the oceans, refugee crises from droughts and rising sea-levels. Kids want to know what they can do to make a difference, and Be The Change brings them a grounded message of empowerment and hope.
BTCEA collaborated with Vancouver teachers to create the SLS: Student Leadership in Sustainability curriculum, and they’re bringing it to students in middle and secondary schools across BC. Our SLS student projects raise awareness but also give practical ways to make a difference— changing the way they (and often their families) view food, waste and energy, among other things.
The good news is that it’s working. Students love it, teacher surveys give it an A+, but the schools can’t pay for it and getting it into classrooms means hands-on work to get teachers up to speed. We’re currently in 34 schools in B.C. and reach over 4000 students annually with the great materials.
For years our Executive Director Maureen Jack-LaCroix has managed to fund her dedicated team with (believe me) hard-won grants from respected funders: VanCity, Telus, Environment Canada, TD FEF, the Vancouver Foundation and others.
But these funders want to start new initiatives rather than support ongoing ones, a funding situation that has kneecapped many great conservation charities in the past. BTCEA must move to a more self-sufficient model supported by the community it serves.
The first short-term step to continue getting this vital curriculum into schools is our own crowd-sourced funding campaign. The campaign kicks off Friday, November 6th, our goal is to reach $25,000 over four weeks from now to December 4th. We’ll have a few cool rewards to offer donors, and tax receipts for any donations over $10.
I hope you’ll join us, and please spread the word to those of your friends and networks who care about environmental justice and youth empowerment (by forwarding on this blog, my tweets, or Facebook posts.)
Thanks for reading,
PS. You can learn more about BTCEA and their good work here.