In the summer of 2020, four organizations from across Atlantic Canada came together to form Youth Climate Action Now/Action jeunesse pour le climat (YouCAN/TuPEUX), a collaborative project with the goal of advancing climate education in our region. Looking back, it’s amazing to think of how much we’ve accomplished through this partnership over the past three years!
Together, the Gaia Project, Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador, STEAM PEI and Clean Foundation have reached 15,000 students through climate education programs, provided over 300 educators with professional development opportunities and resources and inspired nearly 200 youth-led community based environmental action projects.
But we’re not done yet! In February 2023, the YouCAN/TuPEUX team met in-person to acknowledge our successes, recognize some areas for improvement, learn from each of our efforts and chart a course for the future.
We started by celebrating the important programs and initiatives we’ve helped bring to Atlantic Canada. By sharing what is working in our unique contexts, we can ultimately strengthen climate education as a whole. Learning from one another means we don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel.
Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador shared stories from their Youth Engagement Funding Initiative; the Gaia Project provided an overview of their innovative new Green Experts Program; STEAM PEI touted their Girls in Design Summer Camp; and Clean Foundation showcased resources from their Professional Learning opportunities.
We discussed how we can continue to expand and improve upon our work in the future. One collective goal that emerged from this conversation was to further grow our library of Learning Experiences in our Environmental and Climate Teaching Toolkit.
These learning experiences are created by educators and are designed to be curriculum-aligned, so they can be brought directly into classrooms. Going forward, we are eager to expand the library of these experiences and promote their use by teachers and educators across the Atlantic provinces.
Our organizations also agreed that encouraging youth climate action is a key goal that requires constant collaboration and focus. Each partner shared impressive stories of youth climate and environmental action projects happening in our provinces, as well as ideas on how to best support this ongoing work.
Lastly, we created a ‘web’ of connections and objectives for the future. We settled on the goal of reaching thousands of additional learners and hundreds of new educators, while also continuing to inspire and support youth climate action initiatives across Atlantic Canada.
Learn more about what’s happening in your region in 2023 and beyond at: https://youcan-tupeux.ca/get-involved/