How to Educate a Planet

I was inspired to call this blog post, “How to Educate a Planet” based on a research study that was highlighted in the Harvard International Review. The purpose of the research was to investigate the connection between the personal computer and educational attainments in developed and developing countries. In the study, they highlight two major education initiatives: the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) goal of establishing universal primary education (UPE) and Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program. The programs are identified has representing two very different approaches to improving education on a global scale.

Continue reading “How to Educate a Planet”

The Aviva Community Fund – Winners are announces

The Aviva Community Fund organized a competition to hear about some ideas about how to make lasting and positive changes in your community. The most popular idea chosen by the online community will win funding that will go towards implementing the idea.

From Aviva Community Fund:

We want to support what’s important to you by helping you make a positive change in your community. If you’re interested in changing Canada for the better, you’re in the right place.

The Aviva Community Fund competition is giving you the chance to voice an idea that will create a lasting change in your community. The most popular ideas, as chosen by Canadians, will have a chance at sharing in the $500,000 Aviva Community Fund.

 And the winners are:

Scouting’s No One Left Behind PERSONNE LAISSÉ DE CÔTÉ

The purpose of the Scouts Canada Foundation’s No One Left Behind Fund is to ensure that any child, who wishes to belong, can participate in Scouts Canada’s programs. Specific programs supported by the fund include but are not limited to: financial assistance to youth for membership and participation, program development, leader recruitment and training, and to assist with the overall expansion of Scouting across Canada.


Nous croyons que l’éducation à l’Eco-Citoyenneté responsable doit débuter tôt auprès de l’enfant afin que son éveil ainsi que sa prise de conscience face à son empreinte écologique deviennent alors une réalité. L’approche visée est donc d’appliquer la notion des 4R (Repenser, Réduire, Réutiliser et Recycler) développée par Madame Chantal Beaudoin.
Objectifs :
A) Éduquer la population afin de repenser sa façon de consommer ; B) Réduire le nombre de jouets/jeux envoyés dans les sites d’enfouissement; C) Réutiliser en donnant une seconde vie aux jouets/jeux ; D) Recycler un plus grand nombre de jouets/jeux.

Joe’s Place-Hungry For Hope

WHO ARE WE? For 15 years, Joe’s Place -Generation Hope Youth Inc. ( has been providing hope for youth who are hungry to be mentored, challenged and given opportunities regardless of race, religion or income level. Although Joe’s Place started small in a warehouse apartment, the donation of a 24 000 sq/ft building has made us one of Canada’s largest youth centres. We are a non-profit, registered charity and rely on donations to keep running. We provide a safe and fun environment on weekend nights that includes video games, pool tables, music and events. A 30-foot tall, 4 sided climbing wall challenges youth to achieve new heights. In addition to drop-in nights, Joe’s Place offers work skills training, small groups, a teen mom’s support group and a dance team. We sponsor youth to attend camps and retreats as well as day trips to various sporting and community events. We are focused on relationships and committed to building character and leadership skills in youth.

Make Our Dream A Reality

Our goal is to provide a new playground and upgraded play surface that will ensure a safe and fully inclusive environment for all the children that attend South Slope Elementary and the BCSD (British Columbia School for the Deaf) as well as families within the community.


Théâtre Multimédia Pour Les Écoles Défavorisées De La CSPI

Pour toutes ces raisons, par amour pour le théâtre et pour les enfants, j’ai créé Les Productions Qu’en dit Raton?, organisme à but non lucratif souhaitant offrir aux écoles des spectacles de théâtre à la hauteur des créations québécoises actuelles, mais à un prix minimal.

Charity CHAMPS – Spread The Spirit Of Giving!

Charity CHAMPS is building a web community that acts like a loyalty program to develop socially responsible attitudes in youth through microphilanthropy. Like an Air Miles card that gets people in the habit of buying certain services or products by rewarding them, the Charity CHAMPS site will get youth in the habit of doing good–in essence becoming loyal to social responsibility!

Prison Yard Playground

Our goal is to provide shaded playground structures to develop the student’s large motor skills, sports field for large group activity, shaded passive areas for students to develop their social skills, shaded small group creative play areas and shaded outdoor classroom and learning centres.

 Congratulations to all the winners. I look forward to hearing about your progress.

Aviva Canada is a leading insurance provider that protects businesses, homes, cars, boats, and more for people like you in communities across the country.

Community Conversations: Taking Effective Action

I recently attended a forum called, Taking Effective Action. The forum was part of Opportunities Waterloo Region‘s Community Conversations Series. The forum gave some practical advise to develop a toolkit of steps to impact policy change. The presenter was Nancy Dubois. Nancy has been a consultant with The Health Communications Unit (THCU) since 1998. She works with groups across the province in areas of planning, evaluation, policy development, sustainability, health communication and comprehensive workplace health.

Opportunities Waterloo Region, or just Opportunities for short, acts as a regional convener – a community support organization – exclusively focused on facilitating poverty prevention and reduction strategies, providing opportunities for the community to generate ideas and take action, building on existing assets and increasing community strengths.

The organization is currently underway in a campaign to influence public policy at a regional level. That campaign is for the Living Wage. The Region of Waterloo is considering implementing a Living Wage Policy for its employees and contractors and Opportunities is hard at work to inform the councillors and the citizens of the region to support such a policy. Click here for a PDF of a report from the Social Services for the Living Wage.

Here are some notes on the Conversation:

What is Policy?

  • At a macro level, policy provides more equitable access to the determinants of health; determinants such as income, housing, etc. Nancy comes from a health promotion background, so many of her speaking points make reference to health related policies, however, she did drive the message that health is very closely related to other measures of the quality of life of an individual.

“Canada is extremely progressive in terms of health promotions.” – Nancy

  • Good for Canada. I was not aware of this and it made me proud. A number of times, Nancy made reference to anti-smoking campaigns in Canada and how successful they have been. I have noticed that compared to other countries, when I look around in a populated area in Canada, there is a noticeable lack of smokers. Good clean air for all!

Why take a policy approach?

  • This question makes sense considering the audience in the room. Many of the participants of the conversation were coming from the non-profit sector that are actively engaged in community building projects and campaigns to influence attitudes. Other approaches that these organizations may take to influence and inform populations of people are awareness campaigns (large scale events to inform people of an issue), and educational campaigns (for example, the anti-smoking campaigns that used advertisements to inform people of the ill effects of smoking).

“Good” Policy is…

  • economically feasible
  • politically acceptable
  • socially acceptable
  • administratively and technologically possible

What kinds of policy work is the Ontario Government doing in regards to poverty reduction?

  • Bill 152: Poverty Reduction Act (May, 2009)
  • Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy (Dec 2008)
  • Full-Time Kindergarden

Nancy provided everyone with a handout on how to do policy work. It is a short and clear step by step process to engage in policy change.

Click here to download a PDF of the full handout–it is a great resource.

Here is a really short version of it:

Policy Development OWR CCS<div style=”font-size:11px;font-family:tahoma,arial;height:26px;padding-top:2px;”>View more presentations from npetten.</div></div>