April 24, 2012

Expertise travels from Trois-Rivières to Colorado - Alcoa Foundation encourages the exchange of best practices in the field of environmental education

Alcoa Foundation has succeeded in creating a link between expertise from Trois-Rivières and an important American institution in the field of environmental education–a link that bears fruit and branches out into new initiatives.

Thus, Mr. Claude Poudrier, Director of the Environmental Education and Citizenship program (PEEC), a program developed mainly at the Chemin-du-Roy school commission, and Mylène Poudrier, a PEEC educator, will travel to Denver, Colorado, from the 24th to the 29th of next July. The Keystone Center, an American institution, will take this opportunity to offer to roughly 30 teachers a training session during which Mr. And Ms. Poudrier will share the PEEC’s accomplishments in Québec and elsewhere in Canada.
 
The cooperation between the PEEC and The Keystone Centre, which have both enjoyed the support of Alcoa Foundation for several years, began on June 2011 when the Alcoa Foundation established a first contact between the two organizations. Ms. Anne Love, Director of the American institution, came to Canada for a meeting with Mr. Poudrier, after which they developed a Canada-U.S. cooperation project. This project will facilitate the promotion and application of the two organizations’ respective programs in both countries. The next visit of the American executives to Québec is planned for school year 2012-2013.
 
The Environmental Education and Citizenship program was founded ten years ago, after the aluminum smelter in Bécancour (ABI) recommended this project to Alcoa Foundation in the framework of its community investment program. Since then, the partnership has been growing, bearing fruit and internationalizing its activities. The program is offered free of charge and applied in the day-care centres, and at the preschool, primary, secondary, college, and university levels. The PEEC develops projects not only in Québec, but also elsewhere in Canada, namely in Manitoba. As to The Keystone Center, it has offices in Colorado and in Washington, D.C.
 
Since its inception, 12,000 students and over 600 intervenors in education have followed the program. The PEEC leads the young students to find solutions to real problems in their community (ex.: bullying, vandalism, waste pollution, plastic bottle usage, water management, etc.).
 
In addition to Alcoa Foundation, the PEEC is supported by the Fondation Québécoise en Environnement, the Métro merchants, and the Québec Department of Sports, Leisure and Education (MELS).
 
About the PEEC
The PEEC favors an approach that rests on action-research. This model has led young students (regardless of age, from preschoolers to primary and secondary students) to find solutions to real problems in their community. The model is called Action-Research for Community Problem Solving.
 
About The Keystone Center
The Keystone Center is dedicated to finding solutions to several environmental, energy or public health issues, bringing together citizens and leaders of the private and public sectors to take up these challenges and provide future generations with the skills required to efficiently address the issues they will face. Created in 1975, the Center is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Keystone, Colorado, with offices in Denver, Colorado, and in Washington, D.C. Further information is available at www.keystone.org.
 
About Alcoa Foundation – CANADA
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$436 million. The Foundation has invested more than US$530 million since 1952. In addition to addressing local needs in communities where Alcoa operates, Alcoa Foundation is focused on finding solutions to broader issues in the area of sustainable development, such as climate change. In 2011, the Foundation supported 35 projects headed by organizations active in the communities where Alcoa Canada’s facilities are located, including five major tree-planting projects. The impact of the Foundation is further enhanced by the commitment of Alcoa’s employees in Canada, who, over the last five years, devoted over 210,000 hours of volunteer services and paid out over one million dollars to 200 organizations thanks to the Alcoa Foundation’s volunteer support programs. To learn more about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com/canada under Community.
 
Additional information on the recent progress of the PEEC:
  1. The PEEC is the only environmental education program recognized by the Québec Department of Education (MELS) at the secondary studies level. Beginning next September, the secondary students will receive two credits for the application of the PEEC.
  2. The PEEC is a unique program applicable to all age groups.
  3. The PEEC is the only environmental education program integrated into a university curriculum for the training of future educators.
  4. The PEEC will be applied in Manitoba for the next school year. A group of Franco-Manitobans will be coming to Trois-Rivières next September.
  5. The PEEC has been integrated at Dawson College in Montréal for the Peace Garden project commemorating the shooting in 2006.
  6. To date, the PEEC has been exported to France, China, India, Chile, Israel, the Czech Republic, Hungary, as well as elsewhere in Canada.
  7. Next presentation of the PEEC: a conference slated for 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at Université Laval, during the congress of the Centre de transfert pour la réussite éducative du Québec. Information: www.ctreq.qc.ca.