Hard Work and Hope: Inspiring Alberta Teens to Climate Action

Over the last year, our education team developed and piloted a climate literacy program for high school students. With funding from TD Friends of the Environment and The Chawkers Foundations, we designed Climate Connect after our successful multi-visit model, including an interactive classroom component and a field trip to a local Alberta park or protected area, where core climate change concepts can come alive.

The new program targets grades 10-12, linking climate literacy with the Alberta learning curriculum.  We aimed to engage and inspire students to become climate literacy ambassadors, teaching others about the impacts of climate change and taking action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

CPAWS Environmental Educator, Sheri Tarrington, caught up with Grade 10 student Apollo at Chestermere High School to hear about the experience firsthand:

I am someone who learns best by ‘doing’ and ‘diving in’. And as an ‘active learner’, I took home lots from my class’s CPAWS Climate Connect experience; especially the hike. Seeing climate change’s impacts on the landscape ‘for real’, first-hand was incredibly informative. CPAWS programming took us beyond the typical ‘doom and gloom’ of social media and the news, and asked for our opinions; my insights. The positive energy, humour, and ‘it starts with me’ attitude exhibited by CPAWS educators inspired hope and provided simple, small steps towards climate solutions. I know our planet is damaged. I know climate change is real and is accelerating. I also know we can’t just snap our fingers and all the damage will simply disappear. However, when it comes to climate change, it’s time to move forward and I am optimistic. Because of programs like CPAWS’s Climate Connect, I believe more and more that climate solutions will be found in hard work and hope.

Apollo, Grade 10 student at Chestermere High School

We are so grateful for the support of TD Friends of the Environment and The Chawkers Foundations. With their help, we have been able to develop and deliver the Climate Connect program, and bring hope and inspiration to Alberta youth!

Jaclyn Angotti,
Education Director

Sherri Tarrington,
Environmental Educator