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Learning for a Cause is a nonprofit student press founded in 2004 by Canadian educator and photographer Michael Ernest Sweet. The initiative operated from Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal until autumn 2010 when it merged into Youth Fusion Quebec.
Learning for a Cause aimed to increase and strengthen the social and moral sensibilities in high school students by providing them with genuine opportunities to engage as citizens. The flagship project of the initiative was the Publishing Program which allowed Canadian high school students to write and publish on REAL issues in REAL books and thereby inspire REAL change in their communities and indeed their world. More than 1500 high school students were published and made authors through this award-winning initiative.
More noted publications include Down to Earth, a collection of more than 100 high school students writing in response to global warming and environmental destruction. The volume featured guest writers Roberta Bondar and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Down to Earth was endorsed by a number of celebrities including Martin Sheen, David Suzuki, Farley Mowat and Marc Garneau. Columbia University Philosopher Maxine Greene has said that the project "is a significant opening to possibility" and legendary Canadian artist Robert Bateman added that "Learning for a Cause is what every young person should be doing." Down to Earth was a finalist in two categories at the 2009 World Indie Book Awards.
Other publications include Raising Humanity, which features introductions by Emmy-award-winning actor Martin Sheen and Canada's First Astronaut Marc Garneau. The fifth anniversary compilation edition, "FIVE", featured the "best of the best" from more than 1000 student writers. This volume was endorsed by Hollywood socialite Candy Spelling who also an introduction to the book. We Who Listened is about Survivor Alex Levin and this book was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History in 2011.
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