To support climate change community outreach efforts, the City of Saint John has partnered with Saint John Energy to launch an energy efficiency awareness program for elementary school students. The program, designed by DreamRider Productions and dubbed Planet Protector Academy, will begin at Princess Elizabeth School (PES) the week of March 21, 2016 and run through a six unit curriculum designed to lead behaviour change at home. Topics will include an introduction to climate change; what is energy and where does it come from; how is energy used to heat water; transportation options and green driving; overcoming barriers to taking active transportation; and a final celebration and reporting module.
"The pilot program being offered at PES is the first of its kind in New Brunswick," said Samir Yammine, engineer and Energy Manager for the City of Saint John. "It fits well under the City's outreach efforts to educate citizens about climate change and the various energy efficiency measures we can implement in our daily lives. Children are impressionable and eager to learn. By engaging them directly, our hope is that they will share what they learn in the classroom with their families, and begin to exhibit habits that support environmental and energy efficiencies at an early age."
The cost to administer all six-modules will be shared between the City of Saint John Municipal Energy Efficiency Program (MEEP) and Saint John Energy. The program is teacher-led, with support offered by Mr. Yammine and resources provided by DreamRider Products. For the initial pilot, the program will be offered to four classes of grades three and four students.
Community-based energy efficiency initiatives are a collaborative effort between the City of Saint John MEEP and Saint John Energy. Established in 1999 as Saint John's environmental and fiscal code, the MEEP has grown significantly in scope and is now ingrained in all City operations. In addition to community outreach efforts, the program includes such things as retrofits to arenas, waste water pumping station and treatment facilities, commission buildings, municipal buildings and offices, and street lights.
The City of Saint John was one of a few cities in Canada to have embarked on a municipal energy efficiency program, and has been recognized on a regional and national level for leadership in environment and energy efficiency.
Efforts to conserve energy through the MEEP since 1999 has resulted in an energy savings of over $2.3 million, and a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of approximately 27 per cent or 9,500 tons of CO2. This is equivalent to roughly 600 houses using electricity for heat and lights.
For more information about the City's MEEP, visit www.saintjohn.ca
Visit www.dreamriderproductions.com for information on the Planet Protector Academy