Top Image: Pickering College in Newmarket, ON © Courtesy of LSF
When a group of students in Métis-sur-Mer, Québec, learned about the importance of pollinators in global food supplies, they took a deep dive into learning about bees and their habitats. This lesson was not a regular science class but rather a student-led, curriculum-linked Action Project funded by Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF), a Canadian charity that works to integrate sustainability education into the school system.
Throughout the year, the students researched and studied the topic before taking a proactive approach in their community to help protect the bee population. They created a “No Mow May” information campaign that encouraged community members not to mow their lawns or remove dandelions and wildflowers in the spring when food is harder for bees to find. They dropped information leaflets in local post boxes, published an article in the local newspaper, talked to their town council, and shared videos on social media while also planting their own pollinator garden.
While the effects of a “No Mow May” Action Project in one Canadian community may seem small, the compounding effects make a difference. Every action—whether it’s eliminating single-use plastics at a school, motivating a community to reduce their carbon footprint, or planting a school garden—makes progress towards a more sustainable future. And collectively, the results are impressive.
In the 2021-2022 school year, LSF’s Youth Forums, Action Projects, websites and resources impacted and educated 160,532 students, 162,188 teachers, and 101,436 community members across Canada. Students impacted by LSF programs gain the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives and practices essential to a sustainable future.
Climate change is a pressing global issue, and education is critical to help people of all ages understand the impacts and empower them to take action.
Canadians agree. In a 2022 survey by LSF, 67 per cent of Canadians agreed that climate change should be a high priority for schooling and 71 per cent of Canadian teachers feel that the education system needs to do much more to educate about climate change.
However, for education to be an effective and purposeful part of the fight against climate change, teachers must feel equipped to take on this challenging endeavour. The same study found that over half of teachers need more climate change resources and professional development to teach climate change in their classrooms.
That’s where Learning for a Sustainable Future comes in.
LSF is a national charity founded in 1991 to integrate sustainability education into the Canadian school system. It helps students see that they can make real change in their classrooms, in their homes, and in their communities. They provide professional development, teaching resources, Youth Forums, and funding for Action Projects, which are student-led projects that promote sustainability in a local community.
LSF sees results. After participating in LSF’s programs, 99.7 per cent of teachers confirmed that the Action Projects resulted in their students modifying their behaviour to be more sustainable or focused on combating climate change, and 99.4 per cent confirmed that the Action Projects increased their students’ awareness and understanding of how to combat climate change.
To learn more about LSF’s available resources, upcoming Youth Forums, and how to start your own Action Project, visit www.LSF-LST.ca
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LSF is a Canadian charity that has been working for over 30 years to integrate sustainability education into Canada’s school system. In partnership with educators, youth, governments, businesses, and community members, we are empowering our children to change the world.