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Sustainability Programs

Action-packed, community-based, immersive learning

ThINC is now running sustainability programs that bring together many aspects of what ThINC is about: environmental regeneration, nature education, systems thinking, and community cohesion and resilience. Led by ThINC, and supported by community members, students engage in immersive experiences, designing and delivering sustainability projects throughout the Thetis Island community.  

Our 2020 Community Sustainability and Resilience Youth Program was the precursor to Project -Re- Generation. It allowed us to try out many of the processes, strategies, and activities designed for Project -Re- Generation, while adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and doing good in the community.

Spring 2021 marks the first cohort of Project -Re- Generation! Continue reading to learn more about this special program.

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PROJect -Re- GeneRatIOn

Designed to inspire, empower, and activate life-long learners in the reimagining and regeneration of our home: Earth.

Explore

Explore diverse topics and place through community excursions and expert interactions

Engage

Engage on a collaborative sustainability design project with impact

Expand

Expand your thinking through reflective multimedia practices and community sharing

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Our world as we know it is on the cusp of significant change. Our home is ‘burning’ and natural systems are failing at an alarming rate. However, the Earth is resilient and can heal itself if given a chance.

 

People, industry, and government throughout the global community must work together in the regeneration effort.  Education plays a powerful role in this movement, not only as a means to develop understanding around sustainability and climate change, but as a place of action.

 

Project -Re- Generation offers students the opportunity, avenues, space, tools, time, and guidance to engage in creative and meaningful place-based climate action that would benefit the local community while contributing towards the larger goal of the regeneration of our home, Earth.

What is Project -Re- Generation?

Project -Re- Generation (ReGen) is an immersive place- and project-based learning experience designed to inspire, activate, and empower youth to become engaged community members through regenerative action. Students learn by doing: exploring and connecting with their local environment, built and natural alike; engaging with community experts; and working collaboratively on an authentic project of their choosing. These regenerative projects will seek to restore and rejuvenate systems through practices such as rewilding, redesigning, rebuilding, reducing, reusing, repairing, and restoring.  

 

ReGen is inspired by two innovative programs: Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue at Simon Fraser University and LEAP Academy at Green School Bali. Although half a world apart, these programs are both rooted in a shared learning approach that places emphasis on experiences, community, and action. ReGen blends aspects of both Dialogue and LEAP while bringing to life its own character, which focuses on regenerative and climate-action community projects.

How does it work?

By engaging in real-life sustainability projects that are community-based, participants will build an understanding of the principles of sustainability while flexing the critical skills increasingly essential to thrive in our ever-changing world. Along with being adaptable and thinking in systems, specific emphasis is given to the ‘Four C’s’: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. 

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So let’s look at that learning process in a bit more detail… 

 

 

The beginning of the program is dedicated to exploring key concepts, such as sustainability, the circular economy, and systems, as well as orienting the students to Thetis Island and its many nooks and crannies of awesomeness. We will also spend time developing our mini ReGen community as it will be essential to working together on the project. In the second week we will invite Thetis Islanders to pitch their project ideas to the group. We welcome all types of projects, but they must all share the common aim to improve Thetis Island’s adaptability and resilience to climate change through regenerative approaches. After selecting a project, students will be guided through the design process of project ideation and planning, implementation, and review. As part of this, we will seek and work alongside community members who will help us realize our projects. Lastly, students will be asked to contribute to the site blog where they will share multi-media posts that reflect their experiences. 

Check out one of our design projects, The People's Apothecary Garden, from our summer 2020 program, and listen to the group's podcast series, the ThINCpod on our blog.

FAQ

What is the time commitment?


The time commitment for each ReGen program is different. Programs can be as short as 3 weeks, others might be 10! The current spring 2021 session is 8-weeks long (April 6 - May 27), Monday - Wednesday, and 5.5 hours per day.




How will we work within Covid restrictions?


We are following the procedures outlined for the public school system. These procedures include use of masks in all indoor spaces (and in some outdoor situations), physical distancing, and as always, frequent hand washing. Furthermore, we will be spending most of our time outside and our cohort size is very small!




What is expected of students?


As this is a collaborative endeavour it is essential that all participants are committed to the entirety of the program. Participants will also be expected to be respectful of one another, guests, and the facilitators. Students / pairs / groups may be asked to complete tasks related to the project and overall experience, but most of this will be done during program hours. Over the course of the program, each student will be asked to complete multimedia reflections that will be posted to the site blog.




How big is the group?


The current group is maxed out at six students. Due to Covid, we would like to keep the group fairly small! However, future cohorts may run as large as 14 students.




What is the age range?


The ReGen model can be adapted to a wide age range. Some of our programs are open to middle schoolers, others programs are targeted at high schoolers, and we even run ones for university students. The current spring 2021 session is running with a group of youth ages 11 - 14 years old.




What exactly are 'multimedia reflections'?


Over the course of the program, students are asked to reflect on their experiences and post them to the site blog. As it is not everyone’s cup of tea to write essays, these blog posts can take on diverse forms, from poems and photo journals to podcasts, vlogs, stories, and infographics. They can also be done individually or in small groups. These “assignments” provide an avenue for reflection, help keep the Thetis Island community abreast of what the ReGen group is up to (because that is pretty key for communication!), and serve as a learning portfolio in which students may refer to at a later date.




Who are the facilitators?


Charlotte Fesnoux is the creator and lead facilitator of Project -Re- Generation. Charlotte is a certified teacher and has been engaged in the development and implementation of immersive project-based learning programs since 2018. Charlotte is passionate about nature and learning. To see her full bio, please see the ThINC, ‘About us’ page. A co-facilitator will be hired and trained before the beginning of each session. Co-facilitating allows the facilitators to bounce ideas off one another, help each other out, and most importantly, it's fun :D




How do I get to Thetis Island?


Thetis Island is a small Gulf Island just north of Salt Spring. To get to Thetis, take the ferry from the Ferry Terminal in Chemainus, east of the Trans-Canada Highway and north of Duncan. It is a 30-50 minute ferry sailing. All students attending the program from off-Thetis will likely be traveling as a group and will meet up with the program facilitator at the ferry terminal on the Thetis side. Free travel on the Chemainus to Thetis Island ferry is granted to students with a valid student ID. Students without a valid student ID may request a letter from the school they are registered with.




Why is the 'Re' hyphenated?


The 'Re' in Project -Re- Generation is hyphenated to represent the circular and interconnected nature of our philosophy and goals: 1) To inspire, empower, and activate life-long learners in the reimagining and regeneration of our home: Earth (Re-Generation) 2) To seed a generation of youth who seek to regenerate systems through practices such as rewilding, redesigning, rebuilding, reducing, reusing, repairing, and restoring (Generation-Re)





If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

charlotte@thetisislandnatureconservancy.org

 

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