Be The Change
School: Fraser Heights Secondary
Votes Received: 10
This fall, our H2O team designed some ation plans to address the environmental challenge of sustainability. One project we undertook was to develop a ‘Surrey Sustainable Schools’ Initiative", “for all Surrey schools and their communities to be sustainable”. It is our belief that a random approach to environmental education is ineffective. We contend that a district-wide commitment is necessary to ensure that we achieve more than just pockets of change. Therefore, we made presentations to our Environmental Club, classrooms, our principal, the superintendent, the school board, iDEAS 36, and Change 36 (District Global Issues Club), in order to promote a culture of conservation and sustainable thinking that will empower Surrey youth to “be the change they wish to see in this world”. We were the only students invited to attend the BC Sustainable Schools Forum in February. Our proposal encourages schools to “choose change” and come up with an action plan, instead of “staying with the status quo”. Another major project we developed was the ‘Be the Change’ Challenge program. Our goal was to raise awareness and funds as we address sustainability issues and empower youth into action. We created a program for local schools and made presentations to several schools in the Surrey district, with 3 of them participating in the Be the Change Challenge program and 3 more who have joined up. Through the Be the Change Challenge, students can address climate change as they “be the change”, “see the change” “live the change”, and become “agents for change”. Since September, we have launched many action projects in our community. We created and launched a website ([ http://www.h2o-canada.ca/ ]www.h2o-canada.ca), blog, and facebook group to address raise awareness about sustainability issues and engage and empower youth to “be the change”. We designed and implemented an online, paperless survey to measure the environmental attitudes and practices of 1124 students, then provided feedback from the survey so students could select specific goals and create action plans to address those environmental challenges. We made 16 'Be the Change Challenge' presentations to community groups (ie. Rotary), and staff and students at local schools to encourage and empower local youth to “be the change they wish to see in this world”. We spearheaded sales of stainless steel water bottles in the community to address issue of sustainability as it pertains to water. We created the 'Be the Change Tree' project to help students to understand that one act might not seem like much, but together ithe leaves create an enormous tree, showing that you can make a difference in your community when everyone is doing their part. We wrote scripts for presentations at school assemblies, including:a Super Reduce Man Skit – promoting reusable lunch containers, “Trash Talk” (a rap and drumming perfomance) promoting waste reduction, produced "Be the Change" I-Movies made with students, which were shown at assemblies and parent meetings in October and December, and helped out with one school's "Be the Change" Winter Concert. We built and demonstrated a biosand water-filter to show how $40 can save hundreds of lives by addressing water pollution. We made 19 presentations to different Student Leadership Teams in Surrey schools, including iDEAS36. We designed a “Be the Change” logo. We spearheaded 8 separate fundraisers including coin drives, bottle drives, cookie sales, water bottle sales, craft sales, in order to raise money for water filters in Africa. There are several ways we measured changes in the behaviour of community as a result of these actions. We measured 6 local schools took action and responded to our “Be the Change Challenge”; 3 of those have already implemented action plans which address sustainability issues. We measured hundreds of students who committed to act of greens. We counted over 4500 hits on our website since September. We measured the environmental attitudes and practices of 1124 students through surveys. We collected data from the "Litterless Lunch" projects of two schools we worked with to measure a decrease in the waste produced from lunches. We raised over $5000 for our African water filter project. The local Rotary Club decided to partner with our H2O team over the next 5 years to raise significant amounts of funds for our African water project over a 5 year plan. Our awareness campaign was extended to the local media, who heard about our projects. These assessments and the enthusiastic feedback we have received have allowed us to conclude that our program was a success, and we are confident that the ""Be the Change" Challenge will have an impact for years to come. We are being interviewed on a local youth show called “Generation Why?” and were interviewed by the Surrey Leader about our projects.[ http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/community/37738679.html ]http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/community/37738679.html"