Bridging the Gap (BTG) is a unique, culturally relevant non-formal, science-based environmental education (EE) program for grade four students at inner-city schools, managed by Nature Manitoba in partnership with The City of Winnipeg Naturalist Services Branch.
Bridging the Gap's focus is to teach these students about food sustainability and environmental awareness. We provide opportunities to participate in year-round environmental education programming through our various activities. All programs address specific learning outcomes from the Manitoba Science Curriculum (Cluster 1 - Habitats and Communities) and the Manitoba Social Studies Curriculum (Cluster 4 – History of Manitoba).
A key component of Bridging the Gap's programming is to integrate traditional Indigenous cultural values into our learning, as these often help students to appreciate their role and relationship with the natural world. We strive to build stronger communities through environmentalism, healthy lifestyles and cultural pride.
Our overall outcome is to provide an opportunity to keep kids active, healthy, both physically and emotionally, and to experience nature first hand by delivering guided hikes and revitalizing neighbourhoods through garden and green-space development.
Programs are taught through outdoor field trips in different habitats and through indoor and outdoor gardening. Bridging the Gap provides schools with materials needed and helpps schools to build garden beds when needed.
- Ensure that all youth have the opportunity to experience, enjoy, and learn about our natural ecosystems and engage in culturally relevant, science-based environmental educational activities.
- Facilitate rekindling of cultural world views for an urban, largely Indigenous population.
- Foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural environment and an understanding of humanity's place therein; and foster the development of the next generation of environmental stewards.
OUR GOALS & OUR VISION
The overall goal of BTG is to assist in developing genuine attitude and value changes in learners, fostering not only increased environmental awareness but also a sense of empowerment and commitment to stewardship principles.
Vision: Address local social, economic and environmental issues through a bioregional lens of curricular based science and cultural education.
- Providing Grade four inner-city youth with:
- free culturally relevant, science-based EE programming including full-day field trips to local natural areas and ongoing in-class activities;
- an opportunity to experience and learn about nature first hand through safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences; and
- opportunities to participate in stewardship initiatives;
- employing strategies to respectfully include traditional Indigenous cultural values with the program's science based learning outcomes;
- involving local Elders to share traditional cultural teachings.
If you are interested in getting involved with BTG, please visit our website for more information