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17/06/2024 News

“Sea classes” to help middle- and high-school students in priority education areas, discover the marine and coastal environments

From May to June then from September to October, the Clé du Littoral proposes classes for students in middle- and high-schools located in priority education zones, to come to the TotalEnergies vacation center in Notre-Dame-de-Monts, in Vendee, France. These “sea classes” aim to introduce these young people to new horizons.

La Clé du Littoral

Thanks to the combination of financial support from TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation, the accommodation provided by TotalEnergies, and the management ensured by the Central Socio-Economic Committee of the USE Marketing & Services, the Les Naturenautes association has kicked off a new program called La Clé du Littoral. Created based on the principle of transplanted classes*, it is an opportunity for middle- and high-school students to benefit from a free camp in a vacation center during certain school holiday periods.

For a week at the seaside, young people, some for the first time, discover coastal regions, and what it is like to live in a community and share the experience of finding out about the seaside and its secrets together.

These group camps are also an opportunity for the young people to become aware of the biodiversity, and be introduced to professions related to coastal environments, as well as to acquire knowledge about marine and coastal environment challenges in the face of global warming.

The sea classes combine both observations (on the beach, in the marshes, the forest, etc.), learning activities and water activities. For example, thanks to the educational mediators at the nearby Biotopia center - a venue devoted to discovering the coast and the forest - students discover the dune ecosystem, a living, mobile, fragile environment, which is shaped by the winds and sea currents, or sea-wrack and the role it plays. They also take part in Climate Fresk, a collaborative workshop to raise awareness of climate change, or they can check out the panoramic view from the Kulmino platform (70 m above the ground), which offers a bird’s-eye view of the landscape. During their stay, students can also try their hand at watersports, such as canoeing, paddleboarding, or sailing a catamaran. Finally, they are given an introduction to professions related to the coast, through the professionals who work with the student throughout their stay (e.g. educational mediator, nature events organizer, ornithologist), and the entertaining system created by the association “Crée ton Avenir” that focuses on the types of professions, and an introduction to career choices with the older students.

La Clé du Littoral is an integral part of the missions of TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation, which aims to foster young people’s education and inclusion, in particular by leveraging actions that involve raising their awareness to interactions between the climate, coastal areas and oceans, and also by helping young populations who live far from the coast, to discover the seaside environment. Six camps are planned for 2024 and the first to benefit from the experience were two classes of 7th grade students, accompanied by their sports teachers. Eleven camps are scheduled for 2025.

La Clé du Littoral is a spinoff of the La Clé des Champs program, launched in 2008 by the Les Naturenautes association and backed by TotalEnergies Corporate Foundation. The program has already hosted 16,500 students for one-week camps.

* A transplanted class consists in moving a class to an educational destination where students can learn through discovery.