Topic Resources

Tools Used
Initiated By
  • Le Club Millezinc
  • L'Association des gens intéressés à l'environnement et à la Santé (AGIES)
  • L'Union Québécoise de la Conservation de la Nature
  • Commission scolaire de la Jonquière
  • Départment des ressources éducatives du C-GEP de Jonquière
  • Le Club Richelieu
  • Health Canada, Environment Canada

34% of the younger students made environmentally conscious changes to their lifestyle. Overall, 60% of students became more aware of the link between the environment and human health.

Le Club Millezinc

Student volunteers are enlisted and trained to present information to younger students regarding environment-friendly lifestyle changes, and the relationship between environmental protection and human health. The volunteers create videos and written material and travel to local schools to deliver the presentations.


The best way to reach teenagers is often through other teenagers. On the basis of this principle, school volunteers were enlisted to spread information to younger students on the impact pollution has on our health. The program was run by Le Club Millezinc and AGIES between August 1996 and March 1997 in Jonquire, Qubec- a community of approximately 20,000 households. The French language materials they developed (including a student workbook, trainers manual, and videos) are available on request for others to use.

Setting Objectives

The objectives of this project were to increase awareness and understanding among youth about the relationship between protecting the environment and human health, and to promote the adoption of environment-friendly lifestyle changes.

Getting Informed

Two random surveys conducted in 1995 and 1996 uncovered a lack of awareness among Jonquire's secondary school students about the link between environmental degradation and harm to human health.

Delivering the Program

This program was built around presentations by students to slightly younger students. Some of the senior students were chosen from the CGEP course, 'Environnement au Quebec'. The rest were from the secondary 5 'Programme d'éducation internationale' (PEI), which required that students provide community service. The 37 volunteers were trained to deliver two consecutive presentations to the younger students, who were enrolled in secondary 3 level biology courses. In addition to successfully engaging the younger students (Norm Appeals), this approach also provided leadership opportunities for the older ones (Building Motivation over Time ).

Training for the first presentation included a review of the program's objectives, presentation materials and a sample script. Training for the second presentation included the use of role playing for teaching effective communications skills, and a review of the information to be covered.

The volunteers were given an appointment schedule for their presentations, authorization slips to miss classes, and taxi rides to and from the schools they visited. They were required to check in and out with each school's administrative office. This procedure helped track the volunteers' safe arrival and departure. It also required the volunteers to pick up their presentation materials (overheads, video etc.) from the office when they arrived at each school - minimizing the risk that these materials might be forgotten or damaged en route.

The first presentation used an eight minute video, created by the volunteers, called Honey, I Shrunk the Garbage! (Chérie, j'ai réduit les vindages). Following the video, students were asked to complete a questionnaire about what they had just seen.

As an introduction to the second presentation, the volunteers created another video called Detour to the Future (Détour vers le futur). Like the first video, it employed humor to convey environmental messages, and included examples of local pollution problems (Building Motivation over Time). A workbook, distributed to the younger students, required them to fill-in-the-blanks during the course of the presentation. The workbook included, for example, an illustration of a human figure containing the names of various toxins which students were directed to match to descriptions about their health effects (Vivid, Personalized Communication). While presented in a scientific manner, the workbook maintained a balance of humor to make sure that it was engaging. As part of the final questionnaire,  students were asked what they could do to improve environmental problems (Building Motivation Over Time).

Financing the Program

Funding consisted of $27,746 in grants, and $13,600 in in-kind help. The bulk of this funding came from the Community Animation Program (CAP), administered jointly by Environment Canada and Health Canada.

Costs, not including taxes, were:

Salaries (coordinator, technical administrator, secretary etc.) $16,310
Contracted Services $ 1,920
Copyright Charges $ 300
Travel $ 1,650
Equipment $ 1,829
Rent $1,200 Operating Costs (supplies, telephone calls, postage, copies, etc.) $ 4,537
Total $27,746

All amounts are in Canadian dollars

Measuring Achievements

In order to evaluate the presentation's impact, three questionnaires were completed by all students - one at the beginning of the program and one after each of the two presentations.


According to the evaluation questionnaires:

  • 34% of the younger students made environmentally conscious changes to their lifestyle
  • 27% talked to other students about the presentations and what they learned (Tool: Word-of-mouth)

Improvements in awareness measured among students who received the presentations were:

  • 76% in the knowledge of the most serious types of pollution
  • 18% in the knowledge of how air pollution affects human health
  • 29% in the knowledge of how water pollution affects human health
  • 16% in the knowledge of how soil pollution affects human health

Overall, 60% of students became more aware of the link between the environment and human health.


Lise Tremblay
(418) 542-1426

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