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Over the last two school years the City of Brandon has worked with DreamRider Productions to deliver the Planet Protector Academy climate action program in local schools. To date a total of 242 elementary students have graduated from the Academy to become Planet Protectors! Not only have they taken steps themselves to protect the planet, they’ve encouraged their siblings and parents to get involved, too. The academy, developed by youth engagement charity DreamRider Productions, was delivered to Brandon students earlier this year through a unique three-way partnership with the City of Brandon and Brandon School Division. The aim was to raise awareness about climate change and engage students and families in taking practical action to reduce their impact on the planet. Supported by an interactive website that is projected at the front of the classroom, teachers led fun arts-based activities to explore climate change, energy and transportation issues.

As "apprentice" Planet Protectors, they then use the knowledge and skills they learn in class to go home on "superhero" missions to lead change in their families’ habits. By putting kids at the center of the storyline, the Academy becomes a game but also real life as they compete in teams to make the biggest impact.

"Feedback I have received from the teachers is that it is a well-rounded program and the students got very excited and really enjoyed going on the ‘missions’" said Lindsay Hargreaves, the City’s Environmental Initiatives Coordinator.

Following the program, participating schools have reported that 58 per cent of students’ families have found themselves idling their vehicles less, and 75 per cent of families have found themselves switching off their lights more.

The Planet Protector Academy is an educational program that aims to inspire and empower kids to lead change in their families’ energy and transportation habits. It was developed by youth engagement charity DreamRiders Productions, who partner with municipalities and school districts across North America to inspire a generation of environmental "superheroes".

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