Professional Development

2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo Call for Proposals is Open!

The Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE) is now accepting session proposals for the 2019 conference, to be held April 8 – 9, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota in partnership with IMPACT, a regional sustainability conference. Proposals are being accepted under four categories: environmental impact, health and well-being, environmental and sustainability literacy, and whole school/district sustainability.

Before preparing and submitting a proposal, please review the Call for Proposals Announcement and the Submittal Guide.

Session proposals must be submitted online by Monday October 8th at 5:00pm EDT.

For questions, please email

Be a Catalyst for Change…Become a Green Schools National Network Member

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 GSNN member, you will learn from and be inspired by the people who are transforming schools across the country.

Choose from five 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.

Association for Learning Environments LearningSCAPES 2018

LearningSCAPES is the conference for those who plan, design, equip, furnish, and maintain places where students learn. This year’s conference will be held November 1 – 4 in Chicago, Illinois. Join your colleagues for groundbreaking educational sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future.

Registration is now open! Visit the website to learn more about conference programming, speakers, special events, and travel.

The Biomimicry Institute

The Biomimicry Institute is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to innovation inspired by nature. Biomimicry offers an exciting project-based approach that helps teachers blend STEM and environmental education in creative, hands-on lessons students love. The Biomimicry Institute helps educators and organizations bring biomimicry into their teaching by providing curriculum and training, networking opportunities, and content development support. Learn more about our services and visit the online library, AskNature, for the resources and information you need to bring biomimicry into your teaching practice.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

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.

Community Works Institute

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.

Upcoming Programming

2019 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability



The longest running service-learning training for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set amid the breathtaking summer landscape of northern Vermont. Experience a week of inspiration, expert training, and powerful collaborations with an exceptional group of colleagues.

2019 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability



Bring your vision, program, and project ideas to CWI’s acclaimed learning and design lab. Summer WEST is set in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most vibrant, culturally rich urban settings. Join us for a transformative week of project and program design, expert training and guidance, field work, and inspired networking.

Learn more about these opportunities and register online.

**CWI encourages schools to send cohort teams (minimum of four, max of eight per school) and is offering special rates to support this. School Cohorts will focus on their own practice while moving their school forward and learning deeper approaches to accomplish this, including a process for examining and advancing their practice. Cohort teams will continue working together when they return to school (not typical w/ teams).**

Creative Change

Creative Change is a national educational consulting firm based in southeast Michigan. Districts and universities turn to us when their curriculum isn’t working – when achievement is low, inequalities persist, or it’s time for fresh thinking. We provide professional development, curriculum, and consulting to help educators across grades and disciplines reframe instruction around sustainability and social justice.

Our work integrates project- and place-based learning and culturally responsive instruction. Topics include food systems, ecological economics, and multiculturalism. Evaluations show consistent gains in student achievement, especially in underserved communities. Grounded in scholarship, our approach was published by Routledge in August 2018.

Creative Change offers:

  • On-site and hybrid professional development combining interdisciplinary content and effective pedagogy.
  • Ongoing support and one-on-one coaching for educators.
  • A curriculum library featuring exemplary lessons, frameworks, and complete course modules.

Upcoming Programming

Free Webinar: Integrating Ecological Economics Concepts into Science & Humanities Courses

October 17, 2018
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT

Co-sponsored by the United States Society for Ecological Economics

For sustainability to take hold across the curriculum, educators must gain the skills to integrate ecological economics concepts into science and humanities courses. Yet the disciplinary boundaries of secondary and post-secondary course structures often leave little room for instructors to integrate the interdisciplinary nature of ecological economics.

This session will introduce strategies to help instructors integrate ecological economics and sustainability concepts into science and humanities courses. Participants will review a tested, published method to infuse core concepts across disciplines, and see examples of activities on topics such as life cycle analysis, entropy, indicators, and ecosystem services. This session is recommended for teams of colleagues who want to begin bridging disciplines while improving student engagement.

Register here.

Login information to join the webinar will be sent to registrants the day of the event.

Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum: First Steps

Workshop at Kappa Delta Pi Convocation

November 1 – 3, Indianapolis, Indiana


Sustainability is often considered a science topic only, unrelated to standards, or both. These perceptions hide the fact that sustainability is both applicable across disciplines and a powerful way to meet requirements.

In this hands-on workshop presented by Susan Santone, participants will learn to reframe lessons using basic sustainability concepts such as community and interdependence. The session will guide participants to apply these concepts across disciplines and enliven lesson topics while still meeting standards. Participants should bring a lesson(s); samples to reframe will be provided.

Changing the Story: Flipping the Script on Neoliberal Narratives in the Social Studies Curriculum

Workshop at the National Association for Multicultural Education

November 27 – 30, Memphis, Tennessee


Neoliberalism, an ideology based on unfettered markets and competitive individualism, is built upon racial and socioeconomic hierarchies (among others). In this session, Susan Santone will help participants will unearth neoliberal narratives embedded in the social studies curriculum and develop strategies to “change the story” by infusing the principles of equity and democracy into instruction.

New Online Course

Check out a brand new course by Susan Santone and Kim Reynolds on Kappa Delta Pi’s new online learning platform. Available beginning November 1 at

Education for Sustainability (an 8–10 hour intro course that offers a competency badge for display on your e-portfolio, which is free with course signup)

Sustainability education is an approach to learning that builds the knowledge, skills, and values needed to create lasting economic prosperity, environmental health, and social justice. This online course introduces sustainability as a context for learning, highlights connections to the science and consequences of climate change, and provides strategies for reframing curriculum to emphasize these connections. This course is designed to engage you, the adult learner, in an integrative and reflective learning experience that emphasizes application of course content to your teaching.


At EcoRise, we believe in the power of teachers to ignite innovation and the potential of students to design a sustainable future for all. Our school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship. Over 350 schools have implemented our full program and 1,800 teachers in 26 countries have accessed our educational materials. Our curriculum, classroom grants, ongoing training, and support engages educators and students in meaningful learning experiences. Our program empowers teachers to confidently champion sustainability and innovation in their classrooms, while students cultivate 21st century skills and sustainable living practices.

We offer:

  • Online and in-person professional development, curriculum, and self-paced resources for green industry connections to K–12 educators, STEM educators, and Project-Based Learning teachers.
  • For U.S.-based schools, we award micro grants to student-designed sustainability projects.
  • Our committed partnership with like-minded institutions and corporate supporters to expand reach and impact.

Visit to learn more.

EDspaces 2018

EDspaces is the gathering place for architects, dealers, preK-12 schools, colleges and universities, independent manufacturers representatives, exhibitors, and corporations to learn about trends and experience the latest products and services to enhance student learning. This year’s conference will be held November 7 – 9 in Tampa, Florida.

Registration is now open! Check out the website for a conference schedule; a listing of educational sessions, tours, and exhibitors; and hotel and travel information.

Green Clean Schools ISSA/INTERCLEAN Educational Facilities Track

October 29 – 30, 2018

Dallas, Texas

This two-day program will provide facility directors at schools and universities and their teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to support healthier, safer cleaning programs that promote learning. Together with leaders in the field of green cleaning in schools, participants will examine Healthy Schools Campaign’s 5 Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools, a guide to healthier cleaning in educational facilities, through a combination of case studies, deep dives into practical applications, and panel presentations focused on new and emerging trends in the field of green cleaning in schools.

Throughout this program, participants will have the unique opportunity to participate in interactive breakout sessions designed to help them apply lessons learned to their own programs. There will be ample time to connect with other leading school facility directors and green cleaning leaders through group exercises and built-in networking sessions. Before adjourning, attendees will take a guided tour of the world-famous ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show floor with stops focused on their specific green cleaning needs.

You can download the program’s agenda and register on the website.

Green Schools Alliance

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.

Alliance 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 systemwide information on school efforts.

Learn more about upcoming events.


Green Strides Webinar Series Calendar

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.

Green Teacher Webinar Series

Why Learn about Insects?

Date: October 17, 2018; 7:30-8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Rob Bixler

Description: Negative experiences with insects so strongly shape young peoples’ perceptions that even the best efforts of environmental educators sometimes fail. Insects are their own worst spokespersons. The only bugs that tend to hang around us are those that bite us, suck our blood, defensively sting, or infest our food. Our seemingly unimportant relationship with insects dramatically influences our pesticide use, understanding of biodiversity, home landscaping preferences, and participation in outdoor recreation. In numerous small-scale studies of attitudes and knowledge about insects and spiders, these “bugs” were anything but popular in rankings of animal preferences, far below birds and mammals. In this presentation, I argue that a wide variety of personal, community, and societal benefits can emerge if we can find more ways to focus our students’ attention on the lowly, creepy critters that most people just call “bugs.” Bugs should and can be the ideal means of teaching many environmental education concepts to elementary age children.

Feeding Plants to Feed the World

Date:  October 22, 2018; 7:30-8:30pm EST

Presenter: Kent Lewarne

Description: Today’s modern agriculture faces the challenge of feeding a growing world population, which is estimated to be 9 billion people by the year 2050. As the world population continues to increase, it is worth noting the available arable land globally is decreasing. With fewer students involved directly with agriculture, there is a disconnect in which fewer young people know where their food comes from today. To address this disconnect and the global challenges, I’ll share some activities that introduce students to some of the terms used in agriculture and the “food” plants need to eat too.  

A Community Pathway to Stewardship

Date:  October 30, 2018; 7:30-8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Jacob Rodenburg

Description: This presentation will offer up an environmental framework for education, centered on stewardship and drawing on Indigenous Ways of Knowing. If we truly want to foster the environmental citizens of tomorrow, we need to involve our entire community: That means parents, grandparents, educators, schools, organizations, community leaders, health professionals, municipal officials, and businesses. A theory of change around community environmental education is being developed in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. In this session, Jacob will describe how your community can adopt a “Pathway to Stewardship.”

North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference

The 48th North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) annual conference will be held in Spokane, Washington from October 9 – 13, 2018. The theme for this year’s conference is EE: A Force for the Future.

For more than four decades, NAAEE has convened one of the leading annual conferences for environmental education professionals, designed to promote innovation, networking, learning, and dissemination of best practices. The annual Research Symposium, held in advance of the conference, attracts new and established researchers to examine in-progress EE research and promote dialogue between researchers and practitioners.

Visit the website to learn more about registration, sessions, special events, and travel/lodging.

Shelburne Farms 

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 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.

Upcoming Programming

Seasonal Educator Workshops

Shelburne Farms has taken some of your favorite school program topics and turned them into one-day, seasonal educator workshops! Join us on the Farm throughout the year for a series of programs designed to deepen your knowledge of a topic and enrich your curriculum. In fall, winter, and spring we will spend time outside connecting with the land, interacting with experts, and developing tools and techniques to take back to your students. Workshops can be taken individually or as a series.

Each workshop costs $30. Participants may sign up for one, two, or all three workshops. A $15 discount is available for those who register for all three! Register here.

Animals in Winter

Saturday, January 12, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

What strategies do Vermont animals use to survive winter? We will examine their methods and hone our tracking skills as we hike through fields and forests searching for signs of active animals in winter. Come network with other educators, experience our favorite activities and resources, and share your own.

Milk & More

Saturday, May 4, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

Explore a Vermont tradition and build awareness of the importance that dairy plays in the farming landscape. You’ll experience a variety of fun, hands-on activities relating to cows and visit our own Brown Swiss herd. We will delve into activities that explore the roles that farmers and dairy products play in our local food system and in keeping our communities healthy and thriving.

General Resources

Center for Green Schools School Board Advocacy Toolkit

The School Board Advocacy Toolkit from the Center for Green Schools is a free resource that helps green schools allies address sustainability issues and impact greener policies at the school district level. It is designed to make local green schools advocacy approachable and actionable. The toolkit contains talking points, template letters and presentations, sample policy language, and more for you to use to promote greener policy options related to any school sustainability issue.

Experiential Tools: Resources for Teaching and Group Facilitation

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 

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
  • Interconnectedness
  • 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.

Green Apple Day of Service

A Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects. Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online. Register by March 15, 2019 to be eligible for a Green Apple Award.

Keep America Beautiful Recycle Bowl Competition

Recycle-Bowl hopes to galvanize recycling in elementary, middle, and high schools across America through a national K-12 recycling competition. By participating, schools have the opportunity to win prizes and receive national recognition. Visit the competition website to learn more about competing, view the official rules, and register your school. Registration ends on October 12th, 2018 at midnight.

Learning Lab

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.

Teaching Our Cities Practice Toolkits

Teaching Our Cities, a project of Common Ground, is creating a collection of toolkits that share best practices that are working at partner schools. Toolkits include videos, blog-style reflections, resources, and practice descriptions. Current toolkits cover teaching a sense of place, learning expeditions, green exhibitions, environmental leadership portfolios, and magnet theme days.

Think Earth Environmental Education Foundation

Think Earth is a nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create and maintain a sustainable environment through education. The organization developed one of the nation’s most far-reaching environmental education programs—The Think Earth Environmental Education Curriculum for kindergarten through middle school students. The complete Think Earth Curriculum—nine units from preschool to middle school—has been used since the 1990s to teach students about the importance of a clean, healthy environment and about what they can do to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and minimize pollution. Most curriculum units are now available to download free from the website.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses text, video, photography, and interactive experiences to help educators, students, and advocates learn how food and climate interact and how personal choices can make a difference. Ideal for sixth- through twelfth-graders and general audiences and connected to Next Generation Science Standards and the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies themes, the guide offers activities for student research and provides extensive resources for further investigation.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective explores the links between food systems and our changing climate with an emphasis on systems thinking. A systems approach helps to illuminate how seemingly disconnected phenomena are often dynamically linked and can be understood best when viewed in a larger context. This collection of essays contains an extensive bibliography that provides resources for further investigation. Available as a free iBook for Mac and iPad users. A web version is also available for all computers and tablets.

World’s Largest Lesson 2018

The World’s Largest Lesson was developed by Project Everyone to introduce the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development to children and young people and unite them in action to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. This year’s Lesson starts on September 24. Visit the website to learn more about this project, find resources and lesson plans for each of the 17 goals, and learn how you can join this global effort.

Resiliency and Green Schools Related Resources

100 Resilient Cities

100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation – is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cities around the world build resilience to the economic, social, and physical challenges that are increasingly part of the 21st century. On this website, you can learn more about the organization’s resilience framework and the resilience strategies member cities are current employing. Publications and suggested reading are included in the website’s resource section.

ASCD Educational Leadership: Resilience and Learning

Originally published in September 2013, this back issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership journal focuses on different facets of resilience encountered in a school environment and includes strategies, lessons learned, and other key takeaways for fostering resilience in your own school.


ASCD The Whole Child Podcast: Is Resilience the Secret to Student Success?

This podcast (originally aired September 5, 2013) attempts to answer the question: what does resilience look like in the classroom and how can it be developed across schools? Discussion includes how resilience is best developed and whether it should be taught as a curriculum, integrated across all content areas, or organically developed by each student. Guests include:

  • Sara Truebridge, an education consultant on resilience who collaborated on the 2009 documentary film Race to Nowhere and is the author of the forthcoming book, Resilience Begins with Beliefs.
  • Andrew Fuller, a clinical psychologist and author who has worked with many schools and communities around Australia, specializing in the well-being of young people and their families. He is a Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Learning and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne.

Center for Ecoliteracy’s Designing a Resilient Community

In this three-lesson activity from the Center for Ecoliteracy, students participate in project-based learning over several days as they assess their community’s ability to respond to crises that threaten natural and human systems. Then they develop ideas for how their community could be redesigned to be more resilient. Downloadable materials for these lessons include instructions and discussion questions, a set of “Redesigning Our Community” cards for students, professional development suggestions for instructors, and links to resources about resilient communities.

Central Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition K-12 Mental Health Resources

The first years of a child’s life can have a profound impact on future learning, behavior, and overall well-being. The Central Iowa ACEs 360 Steering Committee is leading efforts to raise awareness of the life-long impacts of childhood trauma and support initiatives working to prevent or mitigate its effects. Their website lists a number of links curated for K-12 professionals including teachers, aids, administrators, school counselors, staff, and others who work closely with educators or school-age youth.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

CASEL is the world’s leading organization advancing one of the most important fields in education: the practice of promoting integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children, from preschool through high school. Visit their website for case studies, research, policy, and resources (including guides, videos, book recommendations, and informative materials) on integrating social-emotional learning in schools.

Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom (Quick Reference Guide)

From Amazon: Nearly 50 percent of students in the United States alone are known to have been exposed to some form of trauma. Kristin Souers, a mental health counselor, and Pete Hall, a former principal, present 12 practical, easy-to-implement strategies to help students living with trauma thrive in the classroom. Based on the best-selling, award-winning book Fostering Resilient Learners, this laminated reference guide will give every educator the tools needed to ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in school.


Based on the TEDTalks model, EDTalks feature compelling short talks and Q&A on a wide range of issues impacting public education and young people. Resilience-related talks cover mindfulness-based interventions in schools, resilience in students experiencing homelessness, and trauma-informed classrooms.

Empowering Education

Empowering Education is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing comprehensive, mindfulness-based social-emotional learning to K-12 schools. Their products and services include: a standards-aligned, evidence-based K-8 curriculum Empowering Minds; engaging professional development opportunities; schoolwide implementation guidance and coaching; school-family partnership assistance and programming; and Whole Child support consulting. Free samples lessons are available on their website.

Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom

From Amazon: In this galvanizing book for all educators, Kristin Souers and Pete Hall explore an urgent and growing issue—childhood trauma—and its profound effect on learning and teaching.

Grounded in research and the authors’ experience working with trauma-affected students and their teachers, Fostering Resilient Learners will help you cultivate a trauma-sensitive learning environment for students across all content areas, grade levels, and educational settings. The authors—a mental health therapist and a veteran principal—provide proven, reliable strategies to help you

  • Understand what trauma is and how it hinders the learning, motivation, and success of all students in the classroom.
  • Build strong relationships and create a safe space to enable students to learn at high levels.
  • Adopt a strengths-based approach that leads you to recalibrate how you view destructive student behaviors and to perceive what students need to break negative cycles.
  • Head off frustration and burnout with essential self-care techniques that will help you and your students flourish.

Each chapter also includes questions and exercises to encourage reflection and extension of the ideas in this book. As an educator, you face the impact of trauma in the classroom every day. Let this book be your guide to seeking solutions rather than dwelling on problems, to building relationships that allow students to grow, thrive, and—most assuredly—learn at high levels.

The Heart of Learning: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success

Written and compiled by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Western Washington University staff, this handbook contains valuable information for educators who work daily to help children become competent learners despite the enormous barriers posed by traumatic experiences.

Mindful Schools

Mindful Schools is a nonprofit training organization that offers online and in-person courses, multimedia content, informative articles, and a network of mindful educators spanning all 50 U.S. states and 100+ countries.


MindUp is a product of The Hawn Foundation and was developed to help children build personal resilience, develop positive behavior, and improve learning and scholastic performance. Grounded in the pillars of Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Mindful Behavior, and Social-Emotional Learning, the program consists of 15 lessons that are tailored to a child’s age group and development level. Each lesson offers students mindful strategies that can increase self-control, focus, empathy, and optimism. Visit the MindUp website to learn more about the lessons, pricing, and to view related research and white papers.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network – School Personnel

This webpage features tools and materials to help educators, school staff, and administrators understand and respond to the specific needs of traumatized children. You can learn more about creating trauma-informed schools in the Trauma-Informed Care section of this website.

Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development

From Amazon: From a pioneering researcher, this book synthesizes the best current knowledge on resilience in children and adolescents. Ann S. Masten explores what allows certain individuals to thrive and adapt despite adverse circumstances, such as poverty, chronic family problems, or exposure to trauma. Coverage encompasses the neurobiology of resilience as well as the role of major contexts of development: families, schools, and culture. Identifying key protective factors in early childhood and beyond, Masten provides a cogent framework for designing programs to promote resilience. Complex concepts are carefully defined and illustrated with real-world examples.

Paper Tigers

This documentary chronicles a year in the life of Lincoln High School in the community of Walla Walla, Washington. The kids who come to Lincoln have a history of truancy, behavioral problems, and substance abuse. After Lincoln’s principal is exposed to research about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences, he decides to radically change the school’s approach to discipline. With the aid of diary camera footage, the film follows six students. From getting into fights, grappling with traumatic events in their lives, and on the cusp of dropping out, they find healing, support, and academic promise at Lincoln High.

Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster, and War: Global Perspectives

From Coursera: How do children overcome hazardous experiences to succeed in life? What can be done to protect young people at risk from trauma, war, disasters, and other adversities? Learn about the importance of fostering resilience in children at risk. During this course, participants will learn how trauma can affect children and the systems they depend on, gain insight into core concepts, research methods and lessons learned in last 50 years of resilience research, learn how research is being applied in the real world through interventions that promote resilience, and engage in discussions with others who are working with children at risk around the world. Participants are welcome to take the MOOC at no cost or to register for a Course Certificate ($49). Enrollment starts October 22, 2018.

Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools: Building and sustaining quality in testing times

From Amazon: This book unpacks the complex, dynamic blend of individuals’ psychological and professional assets, workplace conditions and leadership support which enable teachers who stay in teaching to continue to make a difference in their careers, regardless of shifts in policy, workplace, professional and personal circumstances.

Whilst much has been written over the years about teacher stress and burnout, there is very little research which reports on the conditions which are essential for teachers to sustain their commitment and effectiveness over their professional lives, in contexts of challenge and change. Drawing upon a range of educational, psychological, socio-cultural and neuro-scientific research, together with vivid accounts from teachers in a variety of primary and secondary schools internationally, and from their own research on teachers’ work and identities, the authors discuss the dynamic nature, forms and practices of teacher resilience. They argue that resilience in teachers is not only their ability to bounce back in extremely adverse circumstances but that it is the capacity of teachers for everyday resilience which enables them to sustain their commitment and effectiveness in responding positively to the unavoidable uncertainties inherent of their professional lives.

The authors conclude that resilience in teachers can be nurtured by the intellectual, social and organisational environments in which teachers work and live, rather than being simply a personal attribute or trait, determined by nature. Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools will be of key interest to policy makers, head teachers, teachers and training and development organisations who wish to improve quality and standards in schools.

Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Developed by classroom teachers, this approach gives K-8 educators the skills they need to help students build academic and social-emotional competencies. Visit their website to learn more about the broad array of consulting services and professional development opportunities they offer, including one-day and multi-day workshops; on-site, whole school professional development and consultation; teacher certification; and free online resources.

Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

The Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative’s mission is to ensure that children traumatized by exposure to adverse childhood experiences succeed in school. Their website includes a wealth of resources to assist in creating and advocating for trauma-sensitive schools. Join the online learning community to gain access to videos, blog posts, and a discussion forum.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools: Learning Communities Transforming Children’s Lives, K-5

From Amazon: Growing evidence supports the important relationship between trauma and academic failure. Along with the failure of “zero tolerance” policies to resolve issues of school safety and a new understanding of children’s disruptive behavior, educators are changing the way they view children’s academic and social problems. In response, the trauma-sensitive schools movement presents a new vision for promoting children’s success. This book introduces this promising approach and provides K–5 education professionals with clear explanations of current research and dozens of practical, creative ideas to help them:

  • View poor academic and social progress through a trauma-sensitive lens.
  • Create a school climate that fosters safety and resiliency in vulnerable children.
  • Establish relationships with children that support their efforts to self-regulate.
  • Design instruction that reflects the social nature of the brain.
  • Work with the brain’s neuroplasticity to increase children’s executive functioning.
  • Reduce teacher attrition in high-risk schools by decreasing secondary traumatic stress.
  • Influence educational reforms by aligning them with current research on the prevalence of childhood trauma and its effects on learning.

Integrating research on children’s neurodevelopment and educational best practices, this important book will build the capacity of teachers and school administrators to successfully manage the behavior of children with symptoms of complex developmental trauma.

Vibrant Cities Lab

Vibrant Cities Lab was created by the U.S. Forest Service, American Forests, and the National Association of Regional Councils to help city managers, policymakers, and advocates build thriving urban forest programs. The organization’s website serves as a definitive guide to urban forestry and the ways in which trees can make our communities more resilient. Includes research, impacts, case studies, and a toolkit, among other resources.

Grants and Awards

Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution Grants

The Captain Planet Foundation’s ecoSolution Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of the organization’s work over the last 25 years. The Foundation has funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling its mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change agents.

ecoSolution Grants range from $500-$2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions and to fill out an application.  The next deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

Fund for Teachers 

Fund for Teachers provides educators the resources and funding they need to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grant awards support a variety of projects, all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students, and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $30 million in nearly 8,000 teachers. The application for 2019 professional development grants will be available starting October 1, 2018. Learn more about the application process and what current and past fellows have accomplished on the Fund for Teachers website.


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.

Nature Works Everywhere Grants for K-12 Schools
Nature Works Everywhere Grants for K-12 Schools, an initiative of The Nature Conservancy, supports elementary and secondary school projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. The goal is to support young people who work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation. Projects could address issues surrounding access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, storm water collection, etc. The program will award a total of 50 grants of $2,000 to K-12 public and charter schools across the country. The application deadline is October 5, 2018. Visit the Nature Works Everywhere website to download the grant description and submit an online application.


The Shell Science Teaching Award

A partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), this award recognizes one outstanding classroom teacher (grades K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and the community through exemplary science teaching. The recipient of the Shell Science Teaching Award will receive $10,000, as well as an all-expense-paid trip (along with the two finalists) to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. All three will be honored at the Awards Banquet. The recipient will also be recognized at the Teacher Awards Banquet. The 10 semifinalists will receive certificates of distinction. Completed applications must be received by December 17, 2018.

Whole Kids Foundation U.S. School Garden Grants

Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Whole Kids Foundation U.S. School Garden Grants program provides $2,000 monetary grants to K-12 schools, or nonprofits working with K-12 schools, to support a new or existing edible garden on school grounds. Applications are due October 15, 2018 at 6:00pm EST.

Whole Kids Foundation Honey Bee Grant Program

In partnership with The Bee Cause Project, the Honey Bee Grant program allows K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations to receive support for an educational honey bee hive. Three grant options are available:

  • Monetary grant of $1,500 to support the success of a honey bee hive educational program.
  • Observation hive: equipment grant of a custom-made indoor observation hive from The Bee Cause Project.
  • Traditional hive: equipment grant of an outdoor top bar hive with Starter Kit from Bee Thinking.

All equipment grants include a small monetary grant that covers the first year of expenses. Grant recipients also receive remote consultation and assistance with Beekeeper partnership from The Bee Cause Project.

To apply for consideration, submit a Letter of Intent by 6pm EST on October 15, 2018. Full applications must be submitted by 6pm EST on October 31, 2018.