As the school year comes to a close, let’s review everything Be the Change Earth Alliance has accomplished since last September.
SLC’s Incredible Growth
Year after year we see more engagement and interest in Student Leadership for Change (SLC), our ever-growing suite of eco-social learning materials from both teachers and student changemakers. 2021 was no different. This school year, 716 teachers registered for SLC, an amazing increase from last year’s 410 teachers, and the 85 teacher/year average of the previous five years. More teachers aren’t just registering for SLC, they are actively using the materials, which now include specific resources designed for pandemic teaching and learning. Holistic, action-oriented education reached over 5,100 students thanks to the wonderful BC teachers who accessed SLC over the last year.
“Your resources are incredible. I love that the voices of First Nations are embedded in them.” - Vancouver Grade 6/7 Teacher
Empowering & Engaging Workshops
Since September, we’ve conducted 45 virtual and outdoor workshops that reached over 750 students across Metro Vancouver and BC. Our Water Is Life workshops focused on how threats to freshwater intersect with climate change and social justice concerns. Our Climate Ambassador workshops, which we deliver in partnership with the Climate Hub at UBC, empowered students to create their personal climate stories in order to call their communities to take climate action.
“I can stand up and help fight for change...it is my future that is at risk, and I can help fix it for the better.” - Grade 12 Workshop Participant from Richmond, BC
Screen shot of BCSSTA Pro D workshop held over Zoom
We were also honoured to participate in virtual teacher Professional Development conferences this year, delivering 12 highly popular workshops to 348 teachers who were looking to develop their teaching practices to include eco-social learning in the classroom.
Youth for Climate Action
Youth for Climate Action (Y4CA), a pilot program this school year, aimed to help tackle both climate change and youth ecological despair. We empowered four teams of Vancouver students to design and implement climate action projects that they felt were meaningful to their communities. Highlights from the teams’ projects:
- At Eric Hamber Secondary, 67 students and their households took on 306 climate action pledges to choose plant-based meals, reduce plastic consumption, and make climate-friendly financial decisions. These pledges, which ranged in commitment from 1 week to 4 months, represent 10,349 kg of CO)2 emissions diverted!
- Magee and Churchill Secondary teams combined their efforts to engage 50 students in a carbon footprint reduction challenge. Students’ actions over the two-week challenge represented a reduction of 793 kg of CO2 emissions!
- The team at Lord Byng Secondary utilized student feedback and worked with school administration to revamp their school’s recycling system by re-labeling 62 bins and re-locating 20 bins. These structural changes will improve waste sorting with the potential of diverting hundreds of kilograms of plastic and organic waste in the coming years.
“I had the motivation and excitement to get involved, but Y4CA gave me the tools to make positive change...I feel more powerful in my role as a teenager.” - Participating Y4CA student at Hamber Secondary
While this recap covered some of the biggest updates from an eventful and impactful school year, there’s even more! Stay tuned for the next newsletter with updates on our Challenge to Build the BC Network of School-Based Changemakers. Be the Change is able to continue its work empowering students and youth through our kind donors. Please donate today!