Which Schools Can Participate?

The FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change Award competition is open to all schools in Canada offering education to students in any combination of Grades K – 12. Schools may be public or independent.


  • Submissions are due March 15, 2020 (11:59pm PST)
  • Awards announced June 10, 2020

About the FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change Award

The FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change Award recognizes the central role that schools play in modelling and inspiring positive environmental action.  Two (2) awards (each in the amount of $10,000) will be given to school-wide initiatives undertaken in the past three (3) years (since September 2016) that demonstrate excellence in environmental and climate change leadership. Areas of action recognized through these awards include, but are not limited to:

  • a significant reduction of the school’s carbon footprint, resource use, and/or waste output;
  • the development of innovative programmes or initiatives that encourage climate change reduction activities by members of the school and/or local community;
  • the creation of innovative tools, approaches or programmes that lead to significant environmental and leadership skills development by students that will equip them to become future climate change leaders;
  • an installation or performance of creative works (examples: making murals, artistic installations such as sculptures, theatrical works, publicly attended “trashion” shows, etc.) that raise awareness, inspire action and that demonstrate the role creative works have in creating a sustainability-focused culture;
  • the implementation of programmes, initiatives or a school culture that instills a high level of environmental sustainability and climate change consciousness among its students, educators, staff and broader community; or,
  • the implementation of an ongoing programme of unique professional advancement activities in environmental education and climate change topics for its teaching staff with a demonstrated record of excellence in supporting innovation and experimentation by teachers seeking to enhance climate change awareness through their teaching and curricula.

School awards may be used for one of three purposes: (1) to create or implement new programmes or initiatives that help to change climate change; (2) to support professional development activities of teachers in the area of environmental education, sustainability or climate change, or (3) to purchase materials or equipment in any discipline to support instruction on the environment or climate change within the classroom and/or in extra-curricular school-based activities.

What Does the School Need to Submit to be Considered for the FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change Award?

To be considered for an award under the “FOCUS! Schools Takes Action to Change Climate Change Award” competition, the School must:

  1. Prepare and submit a written report (maximum 15 pages) describing the following:
    • a detailed overview of the school’s initiative describing: the project from conceptualization through to implementation; the role and involvement of students; how other members of the school’s community were engaged (educators, staff, parents, local organizations, and/or the broader public);  the approach taken to resourcing the initiative, and the project’s timeline of activity;
    • an explanation how the initiative demonstrates excellence, originality, innovation and leadership in one (or more) of the action areas eligible for consideration;
    • an assessment of the success and impact of the initiative including the reporting of appropriate qualitative and quantitative metrics, testimonials, and other reporting vehicles which demonstrate the project’s success and impact;
    • identification of lessons learned from the initiative;
    • a summary of next steps forward for the school that arise from the experience with the initiative;
    • an account of any steps taken to share the initiative or knowledge gained therefrom with other schools or educators in an effort to encourage and inspire others to act and lead in the future; and,
    • a brief (500 word maximum) overall project summary that can be used by the Kimberley Foundation for its website, social media sites, or promotional or reporting purposes, should the school be deemed a winner in the FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change competition.
  2. Obtain and submit three (3) supporting letters which speak to the school’s project and its impact, at least one of which must be from a school district or school board or equivalent entity.
  3. Submit supporting material by electronic means that showcases the project and demonstrates its success (anything is possible – video, photos series, presentations, reports, media articles, etc.).
  4. Complete and submit a “Consent to Participate” form (available under the Forms Tab).
  5. Submit all documentation requirements through the “FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change”submission portal on this webpage by no later than March 15, 2020.

How will Submissions Be Judged?

Submissions to the FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change competition will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Overall Excellence
  • Level of Innovation and Originality of Undertaking
  • Demonstration of School Leadership to Inspire Action and Changemaking
  • Extent of Impact
  • Potential for Future Impact or Inspiration of Other Schools to Act

Judging will occur in two stages:

  1. Stage 1: Submissions will undergo an initial evaluation against the judging criteria and a sub-set will be short-listed for extended consideration.
  2. Stage 2: short-listed submissions will be evaluated by the Board of Directors of the Kimberley Foundation, led by Dr. Rosalind Morris (a Professor and herself an award-winning educator, at Columbia University). As part of the review process, the Foundation, at its discretion, may undertake external expert input as part of its review of any submission to fully understand the innovation or impact of the achievement. Such a process will ensure that all materials submitted are anonymized to ensure confidentiality of the applicant.

The Board retains final decision-making authority and all decisions are final. The Board also reserves the right to limit the number of prizes or to not make an award if the quality of nominations is deemed insufficient to merit recognition.

In What Language Must the Submission Be Presented?

All materials submitted must be produced in either English or French.

Any Questions?

If you have any other questions, please direct them to Ms. Sue Roppel, President, Kimberley Foundation, at info@kimberley-foundation.org.   We thank you for your interest in the FOCUS! Schools Take Action to Change Climate Change.

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