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New Initiative Aims to Help Young Canadians Learn About Trust

January 23, 2024

Social Studies Educators Network publish lesson plans that teach Canadian children and youth the importance of defining and building trust – supported by Proof Strategies

Toronto, ON – January 23, 2024 – Social studies educators across Canada now have access to a series of comprehensive lesson plans designed to teach students all about something that is coveted by many, often misunderstood, and in widespread decline: trust. The teaching plans, called “Learning About Trust,” are a collaboration between the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada (SSENC) and Proof Strategies, a leading independent communications firm. The three lesson plans, designed for elementary, middle and high school educators, represent a groundbreaking initiative to integrate trust-building education into social studies and civics school curriculum. The project was funded by Bruce MacLellan, Chair of Proof Strategies, reflecting his and the firm’s commitment to trust capacity-building and understanding, from boardrooms to classrooms and across our national institutions.

“Trust is the foundation of strong economies, communities and relationships,” said MacLellan. “Investing in young Canadians’ understanding of trust empowers them to navigate the complexities of our world with confidence. We’ve entered the age of misinformation and disinformation, and all of us must work harder to support a trustworthy future.”

Rachel Collishaw, President of SSENC, also highlighted the importance of the collaboration, saying, “Our partnership with Proof Strategies has allowed us to create engaging lesson plans that resonate with students at different educational levels. These materials fit with textbooks and other resources, providing practical insights into defining, building, and recognizing trust – vital life skills for our students.”

Wendy Driscoll, former president of the Social Studies Teachers Association of Nova Scotia, emphasized the practicality of the lesson plans, stating, “As educators, we are always seeking innovative ways to engage our students in meaningful discussions. These lesson plans not only align with the curriculum but also address crucial aspects of social and emotional learning, enhancing the overall educational experience.”

SSENC invites educators across Canada to explore and implement these trust-building lesson plans in their classrooms, fostering a generation that values and understands the significance of trust in creating a harmonious society.

The “Learning About Trust” lesson plans are publicly accessible and can be downloaded here.

For almost a decade, Proof Strategies has been contributing to knowledge about trust in Canada. A centerpiece of the firm’s leadership is the annual Proof Strategies CanTrust Index™, a research study conducted each January, and shared publicly on its website, in media stories, in contributions to books and articles and in presentations to companies, educational institutions, charities and not-for-profit and associations. This “Made in Canada” study, conducted by independent research partners, samples 1,500 Canadians to track trends in trust in institutions, leaders, and information sources. In 2021, Proof Strategies partnered with leading academics and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) to create the Trust Matters Toolkit, available to board members in Canada and around the world.

About the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada (SSENC)

SSENC is a leading association dedicated to advancing the field of social studies education across Canada. Committed to fostering excellence in teaching and learning, SSENC brings together educators, researchers, and professionals who share a passion for promoting informed citizenship and critical thinking skills among Canadian students. The mission of SSENC is to advocate and build capacity for high-quality social studies education by facilitating networking between educators and engaging with partners across Canada. By fostering connections and providing a platform for knowledge exchange, SSENC strives to empower educators with the tools, curricula and insights needed to inspire students to become informed, responsible, and active members of society. Learn more at

About Proof Strategies

Proof Strategies is a communications, public affairs and government relations partner that Asks Better Questions™. As an independent agency founded in 1994, Proof Strategies has earned more than 325 awards for client work and industry leadership, including Best Workplace in Canada in 2010 by Great Place to Work™, Large Agency Team of the Year in 2020 and 2023 by the Canadian Public Relations Society and Caring Company Certification since 2022 by Imagine Canada. The Proof Strategies CanTrust Index™ is a leading source of insight on trust in Canada. Learn more at and follow @get_proof on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

For further information, please contact:

Maddy Porter

Associate Account Director, Proof Strategies