Let's Make April
Earth and Climate
Environmental Education Ontario (EEON) is launching a multi-year campaign: Let's Make April Earth and Climate Education Month. We are encouraging students and teachers everywhere in Ontario, in every subject, to integrate ecological and climate learning into their programs during April, starting in April 2024. We invite schools, school boards, colleges, non-profits, faith groups and community organizations to get involved and endorse this campaign.
Earth and Climate Education Month is inspired by Earth Day, which began in 1970 as a day for environmental learning, for celebrating our beloved planet, and defending her from pollution and other threats. Fifty-three years later, we are witnessing an accelerating global climate crisis, driven by the burning of fossil fuels and overconsumption.
Earth and Climate Education Month builds on the legacy of Earth Day and adds a focus on climate education. For younger students, learning may include experiencing the natural world, building deep connection and interest in protecting it. Older students can learn the causes and impacts of climate change, and about climate justice. Climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and systemic inequity are interconnected, and they require interconnected solutions.
Addressing crises demands knowledge and a host of skills that schools can teach, including leadership. Young people in Ontario need and want this critical learning. Nearly four out of five young people say climate change undermines their mental health, and more than one in three report that their feelings about it “negatively impact daily functioning.” A majority say the education system should be doing “more” or “a lot more” to educate them on climate change. (Galway & Field, 2023).
Globally, the movement for climate change education is growing: New Jersey, Maine and Washington have made climate change education mandatory in schools; countries including Finland, Cambodia and Argentina are establishing climate change in their curricula. The United Nations has called for climate change to be taught in all schools by 2025.
EEON invites everyone in Ontario to add their voices to this global movement. Together Let's Make April Earth and Climate Month. Our goals are:
To encourage students and teachers across all grades and subjects - and every person who wants to participate, in any setting - to weave environmental and climate change learning into their goals and activities throughout the month of April 2024.
To create public awareness of the need for environmental and climate change education and build support for calling upon the Ontario Ministry of Education to reform the K-12 curriculum so that climate change is integrated into all subjects for all grades across Ontario.
We are all stakeholders in public education, and it is an enormously important tool for addressing the climate crisis. We call on every educational institution and organization across Ontario to endorse our campaign for excellent environmental and climate change education.
EEON is preparing guidelines, collecting resource links, and creating outreach materials. We are also fundraising to enhance our capacity for outreach and promotion of this campaign.
We urge you to join us! Some ways you can help are:
Informing your members and others in your networks to encourage their participation
Connecting with us to share ideas, resources, fundraising suggestions
Together, Let’s Make April Earth and Climate Education Month.
The EEON Steering Committee
Advancing Environmental and Climate Change Education
EEON is an independent organisation of educators and advocates dedicated to promoting high-quality environmental and climate change education in Ontario. This education should be holistic, systems-oriented and informed by decolonial perspectives.
We believe that Environmental Education in our K-12 schools must be increased in scope, status and funding to meet the climate emergency head on - supporting our children in this challenge. Ecological literacy and climate awareness through a lens of social justice and equity -- in every classroom, for every student. This is our goal.
We aim to share research and resources, build alliances and connections with other organisations and individuals, and promote understanding of best practices in environmental education, toward achieving a sustainable and just society.
Preparing Environmental Educators for the Sustainability Challenge
EEON is seeking funding in order to establish a Small Grants Fund. Our intention is to provide grants of $1000 to $5000 to Indigenous and racialized educators for environmental education projects. Sign up to our mailing list to receive notification when the Small Grants Fund is ready to receive applications.
Advocacy & Policy
EEON’s advocacy work is currently focused on several related priorities including: integrating environmental education, climate learning and action into the formal education system, ensuring that teachers are equipped and supported to play their role as environmental educators, and giving prominence to the voices and actions of Indigenous, Black and other racialized groups and individuals across the province.
Links to Research
Here you will find resources and research that inform our work and reflect the importance of environmental education, including climate change education and environmental justice, from a variety of sources.