Congratulations for (nearly) reaching the end of 2021! Thank you all for being such an incredible and supportive community. From all of us here at Be The Change Earth Alliance, we want to wish you a happy holiday break full of warmth and cheer.
With YOUR support, Be The Change engaged over 7,000 students and 3,000 community members in learning and action on climate, environmental and social justice issues this year. Below we highlight some of the NEW initiatives we launched in 2021! A core goal of our team is to foster hope and joy throughout all of our programming, so let's celebrate our achievements together!
But first, some thank-you’s are in order. To TEACHERS, we thank you for learning, collaborating and co-creating with us to bring meaningful climate education to students across BC. To our DONORS, we cannot thank you enough for your generosity in helping us raise over $25,000 so far this year! And to EVERYONE reading this newsletter, we value you and appreciate all the ways you support, participate in, and help grow the Be the Change community.
Successful pilot of Youth for Climate Action (Y4CA)!
In the 2020-21 school year, the Youth for Climate Action (Y4CA) pilot initiative empowered 5 youth teams in Vancouver to design and implement meaningful climate action projects that reduced ecological footprints and engaged local community members.
Here are some joyful testimonials from students in our Y4CA program!
“Before Y4CA I wasn’t involved in climate action groups... it was overwhelming knowing about the climate crisis but not being involved [or] helping. Y4CA was easier because everyone was new. It has helped with confidence.”
- Grade 9 student, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, 2021
“Y4CA encouraged me to take a step back and reflect on the fact that individuals actually have power... I gained so many teambuilding skills and having those skills is empowering… Y4CA gave me the tools to do that work.”
- Grade 12 student, Eric Hamber Secondary School, 2021
“I actually know how to take action now and I can be a leader in any movement I want to organize… Y4CA has given me much more than I realize, I am a better person because of this program.”
- Grade 12 student, Magee Secondary School, 2021
NEW Program: Reclaiming the Environmental Narrative
Reclaiming the Environmental Narrative (REN) aims to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in the environmental movement. REN provides mentorship and training to a cohort of BIPOC youth to come together and each develop a multimedia storytelling project that explores their relationship with nature, their communities, and the climate crisis.
Over these past few months, the cohort has participated in a variety of workshops centered around storytelling, justice, and digital art. They are well on track to complete and share their stories for a Showcase Event in February 2022!
Outdoor and Experiential Learning!
This year, Be The Change created new opportunities for students to get outside, learn, and take environmental action through Habitat Clean-ups and a Rain Garden.
Our first shoreline clean up in October!
So far, our Habitat Clean-Ups have engaged over 150 students in tangible environmental action and learning about the importance of local ecological stewardship, water systems and systemic change!
Completed Rain Garden at Reality Church, Vancouver
This fall, we supported youth to create a Rain Garden to filter urban pollutants from entering our waterways. This project was completed in collaboration with the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, and a group of youth from Reality Church in East Vancouver. Beginning next year, Be the Change will be working with a new cohort of youth to develop a Rain Garden at Richmond Presbyterian Church!
Student Leadership for Sustainable Development
Over the summer our Program Assistants and Environmental Justice Education Coordinator collaboratively developed new learning resources on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Found within our Student leadership for Change library, these resources help teachers engage their students in critical thinking and meaningful action that advance the global goals of:
- Good Health
- Affordable, Renewable Energy
- Sustainable Production & Consumption
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Climate Action
We have so enjoyed this journey and can’t wait to continue building our community with you in 2022. Our team will be out of office over the winter break, but we will see you all next year!
Our work in 2021 was supported by grants from:
Shalen Chen & George Radner,
on behalf of the whole team at Be the Change Earth Alliance