The green schools movement is the most critical education reform initiative of our time. Through the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) membership program, you can show your support and become a catalyst for change for green schools everywhere.
GSNN’s membership program is designed for leaders (like you!) who use sustainability to drive innovation in their classrooms, schools, or school districts. As a member of the program, you will learn from and be inspired by the people who are transforming schools across the country.
Choose from 5 different levels of membership: Individual, Nonprofit, preK-12 School, School District, or Corporate. Each level comes with its own set of benefits and discounts, some of which include: professional publications, a subscription to Green Teacher Magazine, discounted Green Schools Conference and Expo registration, discounted and free professional development opportunities, networking opportunities, and discounted fees for GSNN school and district coaching.
Visit GSNN’s membership website to learn more and sign up.
The Annual CELF Summer Institute in Education for Sustainability (July 10 – 13, 2017, Manhattanville College, New York) is an intensive 4-day workshop that enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. The Institute equips K-12 teachers with practices and teaching methods to address the core concepts of education for sustainability – the intersection of social, economic, and ecological systems – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to all subject areas.
Each Institute begins by building a learning community and a common vocabulary around sustainability, and progresses with hands-on activities, case studies, special guest presentations, and field work. The schedule includes supported planning time so that participants will have tangible materials to bring back to their classrooms.
Participating teachers will:
- Gain a greater understanding of the science and economics behind global issues affecting our planet.
- Create student-centered sustainability projects.
- Apply concepts like systems thinking, interdependence, and community to instructional practice.
- Engage in hands-on learning activities that can be used with students.
- Develop new school change-making strategies.
Benefits and Resources:
- Gain access to CELF’s online curriculum library.
- Align curriculum projects with national education for sustainability standards and performance indicators.
- Learn from and share best practices with Institute facilitators and peers from across the region and around the world.
- Access post-Institute support for on-going education for sustainability implementation.
Registration is open for the 2017 Institute. The 4-day program costs $450 per teacher and discounts are available for school teams. Learn more about registration and credit options here.
The 1st Annual Get Out of the Classroom Field Studies Conference is set to take place August 3-4, 2017 in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The conference will take place at Northwest Passage High School, which has spent nearly 18 years planning and challenging students to learn beyond the classroom, from the local community to the global community. Join a talented group of educators, practitioners, and innovators who have explored learning environments with their students through field studies, urban travel, and wilderness expeditions. Learn more about registration and submitting a presentation proposal (proposals are due May 31, 2017).
The 2017 Children & Nature Network International Conference and Summit will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from April 18 – 21, 2017. The 2017 conference theme, “Kids Need Nature, Nature Needs Kids,” reflects the Network’s goal of ensuring that all children have access to the many benefits of nature — and the need to inspire new generations of environmental stewards. The conference will promote meaningful, cross-sector engagement to create a world in which all children have access to nature in their daily lives by:
- Presenting evidence about the role that nature plays in healthy childhood development
- Sharing best and promising practices
- Providing actionable tools and resources
- Exploring and advancing strategies for policy change
- Including representation from diverse voices, backgrounds, and sectors
- Inspiring participants to take personal/professional action to increase nature access for children, families, and communities around the world
- Strengthen connections and relationships in the growing international community of children and nature advocates
Registration is now open! Learn more about attending the conference, including travel information, on the conference website.
The 2017 Citizen Science Association Conference will be held May 17-20 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The conference provides a venue for citizen science researchers, practitioners, community members, and theorists to come together and share knowledge and best practices in the interest of advancing the field of citizen science. Educators engaging in citizen science in their classroom are encouraged to attend and take advantage of the workshops, events, and networking opportunities offered during the conference. More information about registration, hotels, and travel can be found on the conference’s website.
The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education works with schools and school districts to help them integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into their curriculum. Core services include consulting and leadership development (on-site and off-site); professional development and faculty coaching; curriculum design, assessment, mapping, and alignment; and school and community partnerships. The Cloud Institute holds an annual Summer Design Studio that enables educators, administrators, and program designers to learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.
Sustainability Education Conference: A Regional Gathering for Educators and Community Leaders
August 4 – 6, 2017
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York
This August, we invite you to join the Cloud Institute for an inaugural gathering of educators, administrators, business leaders, parents, students, and community-based organizations from the Hudson Valley and beyond to explore the potential for our schools and communities to learn and work together toward a shared and intentional future.
Through presentations, group discussions, and focused breakout sessions, we look at a whole-school approach to education—from curriculum and instruction to facilities and grounds—nested within whole communities, and how the two can be more deeply integrated and serve as resources for one another.
Using the EfS framework, the successful Sustainable Jersey for Schools initiative, and other case studies, we explore the power of learning and the creative potential of our youth, and continue to identify how to best support our next generation of leaders.
Those from outside the Hudson Valley are welcome to join us to share insights and experiences and bring new understandings back home.
Visit the conference webpage for pricing and registration information.
Summer Curriculum Design Studio: Educating for a Sustainable Future
This year’s program will be held August 6 – 11 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. In this 5-day design studio, educators, administrators, and program designers learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs. Attendees get access to expertise, coaching, resources, and tools to design elegant curricula for classroom use, create protocols for professional development, or lay out action plans to implement EfS in schools and communities.
Through working sessions, learning circles, coaching, peer review, and optional workshops, participants are supported as they create and develop units and protocols that educate for sustainability.
Cost is $495, plus a $33 materials fee. Accommodation prices vary. Lean more about the summer design studio here.
Community Works Institute (CWI) supports and promotes exemplary teaching strategies and practices for K-16 educators and community programs that support students in becoming caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. CWI offers a variety of professional development opportunities for K-16 and community-based educators in the United States and internationally, including on-site training, retreats, coaching, and consulting. Their signature offering is a series of summer institutes that integrate field-tested service-learning best practices and principles of sustainability to engage K-16 students in academically based service that contributes to sustainable communities.
CWI is offering $200 off regular tuition rates through April 28 for each of its 2017 summer institutes. Its East Institute will be held in Burlington, Vermont from June 19-23, and its West Institute will be held in Los Angeles, California from July 24-28. Visit the website to learn more about these professional development opportunities and to register.
Green Schools Alliance is an international organization that advances student success and saves schools resources by fostering whole school sustainability. Originally developed as a network created by schools for schools, the Alliance has evolved to provide integrated and organized support to students, school professionals, schools, and districts to foster sustainability work.
All of the Alliance’s programs are scaled and developed from member ideas to make them more accessible for other member schools. The Alliance conducts work via its international coalition of schools, rooted in the idea that collaboration among schools brings the greatest change for sustainable learning environments and communities. They:
- promote student success through leadership training, project-based learning, and a support system.
- inspire school professionals through access to training, resources, and a community of fellow sustainability champions.
- provide schools with tools to accelerate whole school sustainability efforts through collective purchasing power, access to resources, and reporting and recognition systems.
- offer districts the programs to leverage high-volume purchasing power, foster collaborative communication, and gather system-wide information on school efforts.
The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools they need to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars.
Best Practices in School Gardens
Presenter: Mary Dudley
Wednesday, September 27th 2017, 7:30-8:30pm EST
To overcome the challenges and be successful, you need to keep a few basic principles in mind. Doing so will add to the overall sustainability of a garden and allow for the school community to participate in the project. Based on several years of research and experience with dozens of school gardens, Mary and her colleagues will share their list of basic steps and best practices for school gardens.
The University of Maine – Farmington will be hosting a Nature Based Education Summer Institute from June 23 – 24, 2017. Sessions will be interactive and outdoors, and appeal to a range of educators working across age levels and settings. The Institute is designed for educators-in-training as well as those who have extensive experience in the field. Opportunities to connect with colleagues will foster shared learning and exploration.
Registration for the Institute is now open. Visit the conference website for pricing and updates.
Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Its home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.
Shelburne Farms’ school programs staff support both student learning and professional development for educators. The ideas of place and sustainability are at the heart of its work. Shelburne Farms offers a variety of experiences that inspire deep connections to community, and a commitment to a healthy future.
Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy & Wonder
July 11 – 14, 2017
Are you looking for new ways to connect your program to the community outside of your classroom? Join us at the Farm for hands-on, interdisciplinary activities and explore ways in which these can be adapted to your own learning community. Connect with other early childhood professionals to share best practices over these four days in a picturesque setting, leaving you energized and inspired to create even more meaningful opportunities and experiences within your program. Cost $460. Includes light breakfast and lunch, excludes accommodations and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.
Education for Sustainability (EFS) Leadership Academy
A year-long, residential, leadership academy for those wishing to be part of a learning community exploring education for sustainability, systems thinking, and school transformation. Our hope is to support education leaders in creating healthier and more just communities.
The EFS Leadership Academy is designed for those in education who want to inspire change in partnership with a peer network committed to ecological integrity, economic vitality, and social justice. We will engage you with new ways of thinking, skills to create change and nurture yourself, and present you with innovative ideas and strategies to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. At the heart of this work is educators and a sense of hope, love, and resilience. Please join us and your colleagues in making a difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.
Cost $1500. Includes meals and accommodations; excludes travel and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Limited to 16 participants. You can learn more about how to apply for the 2017-2018 cohort of the EFS Leadership Academy here. Applications must be submitted by June 9, 2017.
The Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability, 10th Anniversary
Join us in 2017 to celebrate our 10th Annual Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability. Spend five rich days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative institute created to give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of education for sustainability. This week is part conference, part workshop, part retreat. We develop the institute based on participants’ needs and assets; but we always ensure that you have an opportunity to develop connections between curriculum and community, work and dialogue together, and reflect in an inspiring setting that models sustainability and systems-thinking. Education for sustainability is at the heart of what we do at Shelburne Farms and with our PreK-12 schools, university, and community partners.
Cost $600. Includes light breakfast and lunch; excludes travel and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.
The Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3) is a week-long leadership training program held annually at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center – the nation’s top environmental training facility. Participants, also known as Sc3 Fellows, spend a week studying and discussing environmental, social, and economic interconnections to address climate change and conservation challenges affecting their generation in an ever-changing world.
Applications are now being accepted!
WHO: Current 8th – 11th Grade Students
WHEN: June 25 – July 1, 2017
WHERE: National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV
COST: $1250 if you apply by May 15 – Application Deadline
6 nights, all-inclusive (except transportation to DC)
Financial aid & scholarships are available.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) recently developed a Climate and Health learning module for use in high school classrooms interested in exploring the health impacts of climate change. The module promotes learning about the complex interactions between climate change, the environment, and human health and uses content from the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2016 report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. The materials are available free of charge and can be adapted for other grades and informal educational settings. The module integrates multiple science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross cutting concepts for earth and life sciences. It was designed with Next Generation Science Standards in mind.
Additional NIEHS developed environmental health and science training materials can be found at: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/scied/teachers/
The Climate Change in My Backyard curriculum series, designed for students in grades 5-12, integrates student participation in Project BudBurst with NASA climate data to teach about climate change and its consequences for our environment using an earth-systems science approach.
Aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, the curriculum incorporates best practices in inquiry teaching and scaffolds students’ use of science practices to support learning of disciplinary core ideas and connecting cross-cutting concepts.
The series consists of three complete curricula, targeting different age levels—grades 5 to 6, grades 7 to 9, and grades 10 to 12. Each curriculum comprises four units that address critical aspects of a systems approach to understanding climate and its impacts on humans and the environment:
- Understanding the Earth as a system
- Identifying key changing conditions of the earth system
- Recognizing earth-system responses to natural and human-induced changes
- Predicting the consequences of changes for human civilization
This series was developed by the Chicago Botanic Garden with support from NASA and in collaboration with the National Ecological Observatory Network and schools and teachers throughout Illinois.
Climate Wisconsin is an educational multimedia project featuring stories of climate change, from warming trout streams and decreasing ice cover to lower lake levels and extreme heat. These stories are produced to support teaching and learning about climate change in Wisconsin and are available in a variety of formats. If you are interested in using resources from Climate Wisconsin in a classroom or other educational context, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (subject: Climate Wisconsin).
The Climate Education Week Toolkit is a free, easy-to-use, ready-to-go resource with hand-picked lesson plans, activities, and contests for K-12 students. It meets both Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core standards.
Experiential Tools was founded by author and educator Jennifer Stanchfield to provide educators with quality, unique, and user-friendly methods to enhance learning, increase engagement, build community, facilitate group development, and engage learners in meaningful reflection and dialogue. Resources offered include consulting, professional development programs, workshops, books, and teaching and facilitation tools. Visit the website for a list of upcoming workshops.
Facing the Future is an international program, based out of Western Washington University, creating tools for educators that equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future. The curriculum is organized around eight sustainability big ideas:
- Connecting with Nature
- Equity and Justice
- Health and Resiliency
- Local to Global
- Peace and Collaboration
- Respect for Limits
- Universal Responsibility
Facing the Future curriculum materials and resources are available for K-12 teachers, teachers in colleges of education, and for some community college and undergraduate classes. All materials are developed for teachers, by teachers, with best teaching and learning practices in mind and are aligned with Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and most state standards frameworks.
Grades of Green was founded in 2008 by four California moms who wanted a better world for their children. This nonprofit provides schools with free and easy access to over 40 activities that aim to instill environmental values in students. Activities are broken out into categories, including air, energy, toxins, waste, water, and earth. The organization also has a Youth Corps Eco Leadership Program that mentors 60 selected second through twelfth grade students to become eco-leaders. Participation in the program is free, though students must submit an application to be considered.
Green Schools Alliance is holding their RECYCLE challenge from April 1 – May 12, 2017. You can choose any 4 weeks within that period that work best for your school. During this challenge, schools compete for Bin Points by “recycling right” – improving recycling compliance rates and decreasing contamination. Bonus points can be earned for additional waste reduction efforts such as composting or paperless communications. Weekly bin surveys provide instant feedback on your recycling efforts – no weighing required. There is a $75 registration fee. Click here to register.
A product of the U.S. Green Building Council’s The Center for Green Schools, Learning Lab provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action.
Discover best-in-class content, training, and tools. Access their curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards, and were created by educators, for educators.
NASA has compiled a listing of the best available student and educator resources related to global climate change. The list includes NASA resources, as well as resources from the Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Climate Change Resources
The following books are available to purchase through NSTA’s Science Store.
Climate Change From Pole to Pole: Biology Investigations offers timely, relevant, biology-based case studies and background information on how to teach the science of climate change. The six painstakingly researched and field-tested activities, which build on four content chapters, give students the opportunity to solve real-life scientific problems using guiding questions, graphs and data tables, short reading assignments, and independent research.
This volume provides an authentic and rigorous way to engage students in science and environmental issues—scientific methods, evidence, climate, and biological effects of climate change—and is a unique and essential resource for your high school or college-level classroom.
Most scientists believe that Earth’s climate is changing and in fact heating up. However, they do not all agree about the rate of change, the extent of the impact on our environment, or what can or should be done about it. This module is based on the premise that understanding what influences Earth’s energy balance is necessary (though not sufficient) to make sound decisions about climate change. Among the key concepts: how weather and climate relate to transfer of energy in and out of Earth’s atmosphere, and how human activities have changed Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere.
Resources for Environmental Literacy offers a fresh way to enhance your classroom productivity. The environmental context it provides can improve your students’ science learning even as learning the science improves their ability to deal with five real-world topics:
• Genetically modified crops
• Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis
• Global climate change
• Radioactive waste
This resource does not encourage students to take a particular stand on these subjects, but builds skills in critical thinking and analytical reasoning about complex issues.
The NCF-Envirothon is an annual competition where teams from participating states and Canadian provinces compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. The competition is centered on four universal testing categories (i.e., soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife) and a current environmental issue.
The Envirothon program is an effective educational tool, capable of supplementing environmental education both inside and outside the classroom. Led by a volunteer advisor, teams usually meet from late autumn until spring. Teams work collaboratively to develop their knowledge of ecology and natural resource management and to practice their environmental problem-solving skills in preparation for Envirothon competitions.
Visit the website to learn more about past, current, and future competitions, as well as how to get your school involved.
Investing in school buildings is an investment in our collective future. In their new report, the Schools for Health team illuminates how the school building influences students’ health, thinking, and performance. The report incorporates findings from over 250 research studies and considers over 70 health outcomes related to school buildings.
Friends of the Earth has released a ground-breaking report that shows how institutional menu shifts toward less and better meat and more plants can fight climate change and increase access to healthy food, all while saving money. The report includes a case study that shows how Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) was able to significantly reduce its carbon and water footprint over a 2-year period by replacing a share of its meat, poultry, and cheese purchases with plant-based proteins. These actions also saved the district money and improved students’ access to healthful food.
Food service directors face complex demands and requirements, and serving kids tasty and nutritious food must remain their number one priority. The OUSD case study shows that plant-forward menu planning can support the mandate for healthier, delicious food and provides resources that can assist school districts—and other public institutions—in their shift to climate conscious menus.
Grants and Awards
The 2017 Creative Leadership Grants program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary and middle schools. To apply:
- Form a collaborative team to plan innovative ways of infusing creativity throughout the school.
- Brainstorm a leadership program that will enrich the creative capabilities and confidence within the school community.
- Plan how and who will lead this collaborative effort.
- Complete the application.
- Submit application by June 23, 2017 (the principal must be a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals).
Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.
The Educational Facility Grant Program funds high-quality professional development for education-based facility planners, superintendents, purchasing officers, and related staff, introducing them to innovative solutions and best practices assisting effective decision-making about upcoming educational construction or renovation projects.
- Experience innovative products that support the creation of effective learning environments
- Participate in educational sessions led by nationally recognized speakers
- Engage in conversations with peers in the educational facility planning environment
- Learn more about innovative approaches in practice for planning, designing, and equipping facilities
- Connect with the vendors that will support your next design project
- Evaluate the latest in school equipment, fixtures, and furniture
The EDspaces Educational Facilities Grant includes hotel accommodations for up to three nights at an official EDspaces host hotel and full conference registration with enriching educational sessions, exhibits, and networking events. To apply, complete a brief application online, providing information about your facility and planned renovation or construction projects. Grant applications will be evaluated based on the projected number and value of potential building projects. Completed applications are due by May 24, 2017. Grant recipients will be notified in June and must accept by August 18, 2017; recipients will be reimbursed for registration fees if selected.
Funding opportunities are available to any qualified K‐12 school enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. Sponsored by the National Dairy Council, state and regional Dairy Councils, and other supporting organizations, the competitive, nationwide funding program provides money— up to $4,000 per year, per school — to jump start healthy changes. Funds are used to help schools implement one Healthy Eating Play and one Physical Activity Play from the 2016‐2017 edition of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook.
To apply, schools must:
- Enroll in Fuel Up to Play 60
- Have a registered program advisor
- Participate in the National School Lunch Program
Learn more and download an application from the website. The deadline to apply is June 14, 2017.
GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals. Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily. Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy. Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.
The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:
- Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research.
- Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.
Grants awards are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year and are reviewed three times a year, every year. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15.
Do you teach in an elementary school classroom? Do you have an innovative idea for improving math or science instruction in your classroom? Is your idea project-based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning math and science fun for your students?
K-5 teachers are invited to apply online for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom. With a Toshiba America Foundation grant, elementary teachers can bring their best new teaching ideas to life.
Grant applications are due on OCTOBER 1st each year.
Grants are also available for teachers in grades 6-12 who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Applications for grants less than $5,000 are accepted at any time. For grant requests of more than $5,000 deadlines are February 1 and August 1 (or first business day of February and August).
Voya Foundation grants are focused on Financial Resilience. We work to ensure that youth are equipped with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) expertise and financial knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce and make smart financial decisions that lead to a secure retirement.
We accomplish this by accepting year-round grant applications from organizations that:
- Provide innovative and experiential K-8 STEM learning opportunities to promote an early interest in STEM career fields, and improve teachers’ capabilities in STEM; or
- Provide financial education curriculum to grade 9-12 students focused on navigating major financial milestones including student debt, credit, home ownership, financial products and services/financial capability, and family needs.
Learn more about applying for a Voya Foundation Grant.
The Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program provides educators nationwide with grants to help fund their innovative class projects. Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff with effective projects that improve student learning are eligible to apply. Applicants must work at an accredited K-12 public or private school located in the United States. The 100 finalists each receive an award of $2,000. At least one award will be granted in each of the 50 United States, provided one or more qualified applications are received from each state. Of the 100 finalists, three will be selected for additional financial awards of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000. All awards must be used to further the projects within the school or school system. Applications must be submitted online by April 30, 2017. Visit the Unsung Heroes Awards Program website to access the application and learn more about the program.