School is in Session, But Will Teachers Earn an ‘A’ in Environment This Year?  

Teachers with dreams of creating an outdoor classroom complete with a garden for students, but lack school resources to do so, have an opportunity to make these dreams a reality with help from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), one of Canada’s pioneer non-profits devoted to preserving and protecting the environment and wildlife.

School is back in session, making it an ideal time for educators to apply to TD FEF for financial support at http://www.tdfef.com/ to help bring their environmental education ideas to life. In the last 20 years, TD FEF has provided funding for nearly 4,000 environment and wildlife initiatives carried out by schools across Canada.

“From in-class recycling and compost programs to planting trees on school property, teachers can make a big difference in their community,” says Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “Recognizing that educators are often expected to do more with less, we’re encouraging schools to apply for funding to help support their green projects and build awareness in the next generation.” 

School programs recently supported by TD FEF include: 

–  The TD FEF Regina and Saskatoon Chapters supported Agriculture in the Classroom’s Little Green Thumbs project, an educational program that provides students with the opportunity to explore science and nature by growing a garden in their classroom. The support from TD FEF helped bring this program to 45 schools from rural, urban and First Nations reserves in Saskatchewan for the 2009/2010 school year. 

–  The TD FEF Halifax Chapter supported Caldwell Road Elementary School’s creation of environmental education kits for Grade 3 and Grade 4 students. The Grade 3 kits allow the children to experience soil and plant growth first hand while the Grade 4 kits provide hands on learning about the science of habitats, which incorporates a bird adaptations activity. 

–  The TD FEF Fergus/Mount Forest (Ontario) Chapter provided funding for James McQueen Public School’s “James McQueen Goes Green” project, which involves the planting of indigenous tree, plant and flower species to encourage and promote local biodiversity in the school environment. Through the project students learn stewardship, practical gardening life skills and have an enhanced opportunity to study living things found locally. 

“As a teacher, it’s important to set a good example for my students, and I’ve made it a priority to help them understand why we need to protect our environment and how we can help preserve it,” says Kim Kucille, teacher, Sir Alexander Mackenzie Elementary School in Vancouver. “Thanks to support from TD FEF, we can deliver ‘Salmonids in the Classroom,’ an interactive and fun program for students to learn about freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.”

How does TD FEF work?

One hundred per cent of every dollar donated to TD FEF goes directly to funding local projects in the community where the donation was made. When non-profit organizations and schools apply for funding, the local TD FEF chapter advisory board recommends which projects to support in its area. Donations can range from less than $1,000 to more than $20,000 based on the scope of the project and how well the project meets funding criteria. There are 93 TD FEF chapters across Canada staffed by more than 800 volunteers. 

How can you get involved? 

–  Become a TD FEF donor by giving as little as a few dollars per month by donating online at http://www.tdfef.com/ or by visiting any TD Canada Trust branch;

–  Give the gift of TD FEF. Make an online credit card donation on behalf of a friend, family member, or loved one. Donors can select one of several e-cards for their recipients and personalize their cards with a message about the donation;

–  Volunteer with a local TD FEF chapter advisory board: www.tdfef.com/advisoryboard.jsp;

–  Spending time in Ontario or Nova Scotia this fall? Attend a TD FEF 20th Anniversary community forum: www.tdfef.com/forum

–  Join the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation fan page on Facebook and follow TD FEF on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TDFEF

About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:

Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $53 million in funding to over 19,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Financial Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit http://www.tdfef.com/.

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact Megan Hooper, TD, 416-982-4725, [email protected]; Karen Williams/Sinead Brown, Paradigm Public Relations, 416-203-2223, [email protected], [email protected]