July 2022 Newsletter

Hi,

With the support of our dedicated teachers, donors and community members, BTCEA had one of our most successful (and busy) school years ever. We educated and empowered over 15,000 youth to take action on the environment and climate change.  

Our flagship program, Student Leadership for Change (SLC), is an online library of learning resources that enables teachers to bring meaningful environmental education to their students. SLC is free for teachers across BC, and we’ve seen exponential growth in teacher registrations in the last 3 years. We reached 1,289 SLC teacher registrations this school year across more than 200 schools in 80% of BC school districts. The impactful lesson plans, activities, and “Action Packs” within SLC engaged over 13,000 students this year! 

In addition to building the capacity of teachers through SLC, BTCEA and our partner the UBC Climate Hub directly educated over 2,200 students this school year through 110 engaging virtual, classroom and outdoor workshops. Workshop participants learned experientially through developing personal climate stories, completing a personal climate action challenge, and cleaning up local beaches and parks.

Students from Gladstone Secondary cleaning up Haden Park in Vancouver. Through habitat clean-ups, students learned experientially about local environmental issues and solutions, and felt more motivated to give back to their communities.

Contrasting the breadth and scale of SLC and our workshops, BTCEA’s mentorship programs provided a greater depth of engagement for 89 youth participants, primarily in Metro Vancouver. Reclaiming the Environmental Narrative (REN) provided mentorship and peer-to-peer support to help 6 BIPOC youth develop multimedia stories about their relationship to the environment and climate change. REN participants held a Showcase in March, highlighting incredible storytelling projects such as an animation, a poetry collection, a script for a play, and even a short novel! 

Youth participants of Reclaiming the Environmental Narrative and their BTCEA mentors, sharing each others' multimedia stories and planning for their Showcase event in March 2022. It was wonderful how this cohort of diverse youth bonded together and developed a strong sense of community through the project.

Youth for Climate Action (Y4CA) provided mentorship and training to support 83 youth in 8 teams to take environmental and climate action. With hands-on support from BTCEA and project partners, youth teams designed and launched projects that engaged over 1,400 community members and diverted over 41 tonnes of CO2. These projects included two ecological rain gardens that divert rain water from storm drains; three sustainability and climate education initiatives for fellow students and community members; and a campaign to reduce waste and improve meatless options at a school cafeteria.

Youth volunteers do some digging to prepare for planting at the ecological rain garden at Richmond Presbyterian Church. Students loved the fun environment created by BTCEA staff, and were extremely proud of how the rain garden turned out.

Check out these testimonials from teachers and students:

“The workshops are so well done. The presenters are relatable and flexible. Students can come in with no background information and the presentations are great as an intro but the presenters are so knowledgeable that if the students are coming in with lots of background information, they can push their understandings further.”

- Elizabeth Bendfeld, Science, PE, Careers and Outdoor Education teacher at Frank Hurt Secondary, Surrey BC

“It makes me feel sad that we did this to our plant, but now I realize that we can make a change and slowly work on climate change issues.” 

- ‘Climate Ambassador’ student workshop participant

I loved how everyone worked together as a team to make the garden come together. It was rewarding to see how beautiful the end result turned out.”

- Youth for Climate Action student participant

"A highlight for me is hearing the participants passionately share their stories and experiences to the public, even if it may be difficult to do so. Their strength and perseverance [are] inspiring to many BIPOC people and I hope they know how much they matter in the climate movement!"

- Reclaiming the Environmental Narrative youth participant

We wish to humbly thank our incredible community of donors for their support. Without you, this impact would not have been possible. We thank our core project partners, the UBC Climate Hub, Vancouver School Board Sustainability, and Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, for their collaboration and support. We finally wish to extend heartfelt gratitude to the following foundations, companies and government bodies that funded our programs this school year:

Thanks for an amazing school year!

Sincerely,

George Radner (he/his)
Executive Director, 
Hons. B.A Economics, University of British Columbia
office: 604-269-9874 | cell: 416-697-5432
I am grateful for the opportunity to live, work, play, and learn on the unceded indigenous territory of
the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. 
I do not take this privilege and responsibility lightly.

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