As I read the project descriptions for the 2017 grant recipients of CIRA's Community Investment Program I couldn't help but feel impressed. CIRA's Community Investment Program funds a broad range of Canadian organizations whose projects are as unique as they are. From universities to community service organizations, from human rights advocates to health organizations, CIRA funds them all. What do they have in common? They are doing good things in Canada through the Internet.
This is the fourth year of CIRA's Community Investment Program and every year CIRA staff members have their favourites - those programs that resonate with them personally. We recently asked staff to share with us which new projects stood out to them and why. Below are some of their responses.
"The MediaSmarts project interests me because improving digital literacy in Canada is important now that technology is pervasive in our everyday lives," says Erin Hutchison, content marketing and social media specialist. "I like the approach of educating future teachers. Having done workshops on personal branding, I also like the component that addresses teachers' usage of online platforms. Teachers can use online tools to effectively communicate with students and at the same time they need to be aware and in control of their own privacy and public image online. Hopefully the resources created can help teachers in that regard."
"While attending a First Nations conference in Winnipeg this winter, a Chief spoke to the level of pollution in Lake Winnipeg," says Richard Chamberland, inside sales representative. "He mentioned growing up on the lake and how in his younger days the water was crystal clear. Nowadays, you can barely see your hands and feet in the water. This is a big important lake that is connected to many river systems and I am excited to see us provide a grant to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation for an initiative that is looking to make a difference."
"I got turned on to math and science later in public school and early high school and really enjoyed when unique and creative ways were brought to the classroom for learning," says Richard Schreier, product manager, about the University of Waterloo's Courseware project. "Also, the University of Waterloo is my alma mater so I am delighted to see support go to such a great institution."
Several other projects were mentioned and I'm certain our list of favourites will grow as the projects develop and launch. The difference they will make for Canadians is undeniable. Check out the full list of current and past recipients to choose your favourites.
To date CIRA has supported 100 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions. Learn more about CIRA's Community Investment Program here.