All 4 Each: Co-ops in the Classroom

The Ontario Co-operative Association and its members work with all levels of the Ontario education system to create awareness of co-operative enterprise and educate young people regarding the benefits and opportunities the sector presents. On Co-op has developed projects, materials, and curricula to encourage young people to consider co-ops and credit unions as a viable business enterprise and career option.

The Ontario Co-operative Association has successfully re-introduced education about co-operatives into classrooms in a unique and fun way. This program, called All 4 Each: A unit to inspire a co-operative conscience, engages students in business, civics, and world studies classes about the 7 principles, the triple bottom line, and other benefits unique to co-operative enterprise all in the context of their standard curriculum. We have created our own lessons that use co-op examples, and are reaching many hundreds of high school students every term. They've become so popular that others are using them in classrooms across the country.

Kerr Smith, On Co-op’s Education Manager and author of the program, has received international acclaim for his work on the project, and won the 2012 William Hlushko Award for Young Co-operative Educators from the Association of Co-operative Educators.

RECENT NEWS!!! The All 4 Each suite of educational resources has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Quebec Summit's International Communications Contest! We are so excited to be part of this contest, and honoured to be chosen alongside so many incredible entries from across the globe! The winners will be announced at the Summit's Awards Ceremony on October 7th, 2014. 

National Co-op Challenge!

We are in the finals for The Co-operators National Co-op Challenge! The link to vote for us is

Voting begins September 3rd and runs until 5pm on Oct. 1st. Please make sure to follow the (simple) instructions and to vote as much as possible! You can vote once per day (note: they will disqualify any votes that are duplicated within a 24 hour period from the same medium). However, you can also vote using various mediums (e.g., your work laptop, personal computer, tablet, phone, etc.) to increase the amount of votes each day!

 Please help us spread the word!

  • Post the link to your personal Facebook page or Twitter – tell all your friends and family
  • Share the link with your networks, members and any other business contacts you may have that you think would participate

 Thanks for all your support and assistance with this…it’s for a great initiative and the award money/funding would help us enhance the All 4 Each program, as well as On Co-op’s ability to raise awareness of the movement across the province!


The Ontario Co-operative Association has launched a ground-breaking program called “All 4 Each: A unit to inspire a co-operative conscience.” Educators and school administrators are extremely impressed with the award-winning program which is exploding into Canadian classrooms.

This project marks the first time standardized co-operative teachings have taken place in high schools for many years. The lesson manual links directly to a number of the Ontario education system’s curriculum expectations, and is currently being expanded to include sections on financial literacy, aboriginal affairs, local foods and renewable energy.  See the Press Release in the Downloads section on the right for more details!

All 4 Each is a core part of On Co-op’s youth engagement and education strategy and is designed to link youth with co-operatives and credit unions in meaningful, relevant and engaging ways. The lessons are written to be instantly accessible for anyone presenting the material regardless of their prior knowledge of co-operatives. As a result, teachers, specially trained young leaders or co-op/credit union staff can bring All 4 Each to life. As a bonus, teachers and students begin to learn more about the co-operatives and credit unions in their own communities!

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On Co-op is meeting with school boards and educators to demonstrate how the free, five-lesson unit and pre-packaged presentation resources can easily be adapted to a number of classes: from business to civics and world studies. As the interest from school boards and teachers continues to grow, Ontario credit unions are partnering with On Co-op as regional sponsors. These credit unions see the potential in engaging existing young members, as well as potential new members who share the same foundational values (but have not yet been exposed to the co-operative movement). All 4 Each is the perfect way to link your credit union, co-op or school with a community of engaged and energetic individuals who are building better communities.  

Talk to Kerr Smith to find out more about how YOUR school, school board, co-op or credit union can be part of this incredible co-op phenomenon.


The course packs include everything a teacher (or trained session leader) requires to present the lessons, including background material, handouts, assignments, presentation resources and discussion topics. Material is relevant to co-ops and communities across the country and the lessons can be easily presented in any classroom in Canada. 

Specifically, All 4 Each consists of a five-lesson unit cumulating in a final entrepreneurial assignment— generating your own co-op business plan— which can be submitted during On Co-op’s “Create a Co-op” challenge for the chance to win recognition and prizes. Module topics are being expanded to include credit unions, renewable energy and aboriginal affairs.

** Download the basic lesson plans from the Downloads section at the right of this page. This series of five lessons (plus co-op links and other curriculum resources) can be downloaded in PDF format. Hard copy and CD versions, sponsorship packages, promotional materials and a guide that summarizes All 4 Each’s links to the Ontario curriculum are available as well (contact Kerr Smith).**


All 4 Each has generated a huge amount of interest nationally. Co-operatives and educators alike are embracing the easy-to-understand lessons and the depth of the content. The project created buzz at the 2011 Canadian Co-operative Association national congress in Halifax where it was featured, as well as other conferences across Canada.

Every province has expressed interest in presenting the lessons and it has recently been translated into French. On Co-op has even received international inquiries.

Many respected institutions—such as Canada’s provincial co-operative associations, the Canadian Co-operative Association, Arctic Co-operatives Limited and the Social Economy Centre of the University of Toronto—recognize the value of the program and have contributed both input and support.

On Co-op’s Education Manager, Kerr Smith, was awarded the 2012 William Hlushko Award for Young Cooperative Educators in response to the programming he’s developed, including All 4 Each. To learn more about the award and Kerr's achievement read the full press release here.


  • Workshops on co-operative concept & enterprise 
  • Workshops on co-operative careers 
  • Facilitate interactive co-op activities during general assemblies 
  • Participate in on-site career days
  • Provide speakers or panelists on various aspects of the co-operative sector, including: an overview of the movement, economic and social impact, the diversity of the co-op sector, etc.
  • Co-operative resources & marketing materials highlighting co-operative information & opportunities

Better Together and Working Together -  two great teacher resources developed a few years ago by On Co-op in partnership with Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. - can be found in the 'Related Documents' area. These documents, and many others, can also be found on the OAFE website.


Co-op Principles in Plain Language

Mar 23, 2012 - The co-op principles are the foundation of co-operatives worldwide. To make them more accessible and easy to understand, On Co-op presents a plain-language translation of each of the seven international principles.

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