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: 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.
Make plans now to join fellow green schools advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota April 8 – 9, 2019 for the ninth annual Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE)! GSCE is the only national event to bring together all the players involved in making green schools a reality: people who lead, operate, build, and teach in U.S. schools. Enjoy two days of programming with inspiring keynote speakers, informative workshops and breakout sessions, and the chance to network with colleagues from across the country. In 2019, GSCE will be hosted in partnership with IMPACT, a regional sustainability conference.
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.
Calling All Educators!
Registration for Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge coaches is open until March 1, 2019. Educators who register as coaches gain access to challenge curriculum and resources that can be used to integrate biomimicry study into classroom instruction. Register here.
July 15 – 18, 2019, Manhattanville College, New York
Save the Date! The Annual CELF Summer Institute in Education for Sustainability is an intensive four-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.
The 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.
Benefits and Resources:
- Gain access to CELF’s online resource 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 coming soon!
Join the Children and Nature Network for the largest gathering of children and nature advocates in the world, May 16-18, 2019 in Oakland, California. From inspiring keynotes to hands-on workshops, this biennial conference will inspire and equip you with best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for the children, families, and communities you serve.
The 2019 Citizen Science Association Conference will be held March 13 – 17 in Raleigh, North Carolina. 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 classrooms 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.
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.
2019 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability
June 24 – 28, 2019 • Brooklyn, New York
The longest running Service-Learning training for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set in the heart of the uniquely diverse social fabric that is Brooklyn. Experience a week of inspiration, expert training, and powerful collaborations with an exceptional group of colleagues. Join like-minded K-16 and community educators from across the U.S. and beyond for a week to remember.
2019 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability
July 22 – 26, 2019 • Los Angeles, California
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.
**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 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.
Free Online Course
Learning about sustainability is easier than ever thanks to “Introduction to Sustainability,” a free online course developed by Kappa Delta Pi in partnership with Creative Change Educational Solutions. The self-paced course introduces sustainability as a context for learning, highlights connections across grades and disciplines, and provides strategies for reframing curriculum to emphasize these connections. With activities, videos, discussions, off-line projects, and guided curriculum design, the course engages adult learners in an integrative and reflective learning experience that emphasizes practical applications. The course is based upon (and includes excerpts from) Susan Santone’s book, Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability.
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.
- 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 www.ecorise.org to learn more.
January 24, 2019
This workshop will demonstrate how you can use biomimicry design challenges to engage your students in core content standards while enhancing 21st century skills. This training is offered as part of the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, a free education program and design competition from the Biomimicry Institute that introduces middle and high school students to biomimicry and provides professional development support to teachers.
January 26, 2019
Empower your students to solve sustainability challenges on your campus through scientific inquiry, eco-audits, and grant funds for green campus projects. Thinking about guiding your students to apply for an EcoRise Eco-Audit grant? This workshop is for you. This session will help get you ready for the process. New and experienced EcoRise teachers from all grade levels and content areas are welcome!
5-week online course (February 12 – April 1, 2019)
Is the goal of environmental education to instill pro-environmental behaviors, foster collective environmental action, or developing healthy and productive citizens? Through short recorded lectures, podcasts, readings, social media, and live webinars, this course will help you define your environmental education goals and learn what the research says is the best pathway to achieve them.
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education. It seeks to promote mutual understanding among teachers, their schools, and communities in the U.S. and abroad by building teachers’ and students’ global competence and sharing best educational practices internationally.
Through the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program, U.S. K-12 teachers and educators can apply for grants to engage in collaborative projects for approximately two to six weeks abroad, with a preference for three or more weeks. Participants consult with and support schools, nonprofit organizations, teacher training institutions, and other educational organizations abroad.
The grant award provides funding for program expenses while abroad, including travel costs, lodging, meals, local transportation, and related expenses. These grants give U.S. educators flexibility to participate in the Fulbright Program while meeting their teaching and professional commitments.
Grants for 2019 are available in Mexico, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The deadline to submit applications is January 25, 2019.
The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (Fulbright TGC) is a year-long professional development opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. Fulbright TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration. Activities include:
- Global education online course: Fulbright TGC fellows complete a rigorous, semester-long online course focused on best practices in global education.
- Global symposium: Fulbright TGC fellows gather in Washington, DC for an in-person professional development workshop to build networks, collaborate, and develop strategies to enhance world learning.
- International field experience: Fulbright TGC fellows travel abroad for two to three weeks to experience another country’s culture and education system and promote mutual understanding.
- Capstone project: Fulbright TGC fellows create a global education guide that serves as a resource for their local community to build global awareness and mutual understanding.
- Alumni support: Fulbright TGC alumni may apply for grants and participate in global education networks to enhance and sustain their engagement.
The deadline to apply is March 7, 2019. Visit the website to learn more about this opportunity, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.
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.
Exploring Learning Stories
Date: January 16, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenters: Lotje Hives and Astrid Steele
In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, “Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.” Join into a conversation about the value of documenting Learning Stories as experienced through a unique University and School Board research partnership. Webinar facilitators will discuss how observing and documenting learning in, about, and for the environment alongside learners, is slowing down the process of learning and offering a space for thoughtful reflection about relationships, stewardship, and global citizenship to inform pedagogy. Examples (artifacts, photos, narratives, and video), references, and practical strategies will be shared. As we know, learning moments are happening all around us all the time. Let your students help you tell the story of their learning. It’s not about getting the perfect photo, but rather about exploring the perfectness in moments of learning. Listen. Think about perspective. Focus. Enjoy and be prepared to be surprised! In the words of an inspired kindergarten scientist, “Observe. It’s like using your senses but in a fancier way.”
Using Progressive Skits to Teach Food Chains
Date: February 13, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenter: Emily M. Stone
Teacher-led progressive skits are a quick and engaging way to make food chains come alive for students aged six to adult. They provide a good mix of teacher control and student creativity and use repetition and humor to facilitate learning. They can be customized to work with any grade level or even mixed groups by purposefully selecting the level of vocabulary and detail you include. In her presentation, Emily will walk you through the basics.
Easy, Local Bird-focused Citizen Science
Date: March 27th, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST
Presenter: Liza Barney
Citizen Science has great potential as a win-win for students/educators and their communities, and there are many bird-related projects from which to choose. But what if I have little knowledge of birds? What if my organization is resource-lean? Are programs available in my geographic region? Liza will answer these questions and speak more generally about the many well-supported bird-focused citizen science programs in Canada and the U.S.
Secrets to Snagging Great Science Partners
Date: April 10, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenter: Megan Edgar
In this webinar, Megan will help you understand how to cultivate and grow relationships with community members who can enrich classroom learning experiences. She will help you determine what type of partnership is right for your students, how to grow partnerships into long-term research projects, and how to tie field experiences to required curriculum. This webinar will help you learn how to take your students into the real world of science and conservation where they can practice science process skills in an authentic setting and meet inspiring people from their home community.
The 48th North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) annual conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky from October 15 – 19, 2019.
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.
The Call for Presentations will open in February 2019.
The 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from November 12-14, 2019. Save the date for this opportunity to join hundreds of active transportation and public health advocates and practitioners from across the country for valuable networking, sharing best practices, and exploring one of Florida’s most vibrant and active cities.
Interested in presenting? The Call for Conference Program Proposals is open until February 22, 2019.
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.
ABCs of Farm-Based Education
March 31 – April 2, 2019
Are you looking to build a farm-based education program, or inspire your existing programming? At this workshop, you’ll fill your toolbox with kid-tested, educator approved activities, as you join a community of peers from around the region. Spend three days in hands-on, discussion and activity-based learning and explore Shelburne Farms’ dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms. Experience activities from Shelburne Farms’ publications Project Seasons and Cultivating Joy and Wonder as we discuss ways to engage school groups and farm visitors. In addition to activity sharing and program development, we’ll discuss tips for creating a safe learning environment and will have ample time for getting to know one another and our respective farm-based education sites.
A Forest for Every Classroom
August 5 – 8, 2019
This August gathering the start of our year-long, place-based education program for educators, A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC), offered at various locations in partnership with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Green Mountain National Forest, and the Stewardship Institute. You will develop curriculum to foster student understanding of and appreciation for public lands and forests in their communities. Over the course of the year, you will integrate hands-on natural and cultural explorations into curriculum to address concepts in ecology, sense of place, stewardship, and civics. At the heart of FFEC is the belief that students who are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of their place will be more eager to learn about and be involved in the stewardship of their communities and surrounding lands. Educators may earn up to five graduate credits from Castelton State College for the successful completion of the Forest for Every Classroom program.
The full dates for the course are as follows:
August 5-8, 2019: Opening and Kick-off Gathering
November 1-2, 2019
January 24-25, 2020
April 3-4, 2020
June 2020: Celebration and Closing Gathering
To apply, please complete this online application and e-mail a letter of support from your school administrator or supervisor to email@example.com before February 19, 2019. Applications received afterward will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy and Wonder
July 8 – 12, 2019
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 $575. Includes light breakfast and lunch; excludes accommodations and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.
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. Register here.
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.
This online course offered by Oregon State University is designed to help teachers increase their freshwater ecology knowledge and learn how to facilitate student-directed watershed inquiry that includes action projects. Participants will practice sensory-based activities outdoors and keep a journal to record their reflections. Participants will read, watch videos, and conduct fieldwork to learn essential watershed content. Using scientific protocols, participants will conduct research and use their findings to develop an action plan.
This course is for teachers of all academic disciplines in sixth- through twelfth-grades. Two sessions are available: March 4 – April 14, 2019 and May 6 – June 16, 2019. Course cost is $435, plus a $60 registration fee.
The fifth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Packaging, is now accepting registrations! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria.
Fifteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Entries are due by Monday, March 25, 2019, but will be accepted on a rolling basis.
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 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.
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.
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.
Designed for elementary age kids, this activity guide is full of fun ways to learn about animal migrations in the U.S. Activities encourage kids to use STEM skills to explore the topic, whether they are using math to plot the coordinates of monarch migration paths, engineering to design their birdfeeder, science to understand the phenomenon of animal migration, or technology to get involved with online citizen science.
A recognized leader in the field of environmental education, NatureBridge provides hands-on, inquiry-based programs for children and teens at national park locations across the country. The organization’s website includes an educators webpage that offers classroom resources organized around five areas of study; tips and resources for incorporating nature into classroom lessons; and professional development workshops that provide skills to create hands-on science and environmental education curricula for students.
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.
Green Schools and the Community Related Resources
From Amazon: This current era of high stakes testing, accountability, and shrinking educational budgets demands that schools seek bold and innovative ways to build strong learning environments for all students. Community involvement is a powerful tool in generating resources that are essential for educational excellence.
Building School-Community Partnerships: Collaboration for Student Success emphasizes the importance of community involvement for effective school functioning, student support and well-being, and community health and development. This sharp, insightful book serves as an excellent resource for educators seeking to establish school-community partnerships to achieve goals for their schools and the students, families, and communities they serve. Schools can collaborate with a wide variety of community partners to obtain the resources they need to achieve important goals for students’ learning. Some of these partners may include:
- Businesses and corporations
- Universities and other institutions of higher learning
- National and local volunteer organizations
- Social service agencies and health partners
- Faith-based organizations and institutions
Work successfully with community partners to improve school programs and curricula, strengthen families, and expand your students’ learning experiences!
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 both 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.
From Amazon: Engage your community and help students achieve their full potential!
Americans see public schools as a critical community resource and rank education as a priority second only to the economy. How can educators harness this public interest in education to bring parents, families, and communities to action for our schools? Improving Schools Through Community Engagement addresses these questions and more in this invaluable source of methods and strategies for educators to initiate action.
Involvement of family and community members has a significant impact on student achievement. This handy resource provides a framework that education leaders can use in designing and implementing initiatives to more effectively engage the public by:
• Framing a clear focus for community engagement
• Identifying and including representatives from each diverse constituency group
• Developing an understanding of the varied perspectives of these groups
• Presenting strategies to encourage constituent involvement and action
A more engaged community results in improved teaching and learning. The energy of parents, teachers, and communities working together starts small and spreads over time. If everyone gets involved, the possibilities for action are limitless!
Founded in 1991, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is a youth service program for young people of all ages. Through this program, youth lead local change through service campaigns while developing skills and traits of compassionate leaders. Students can choose from one of the suggested campaigns on the website or design their own. Educators will find all the tools and resources they need to implement a Roots & Shoots service campaign at their school and can search the website for projects that have been completed by students around the world.
This booklet, produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Corporation for National and Community Service, was developed to encourage schools to jump-start their own service-learning programs. Profiles in the booklet include projects that focus on various aspects of solid waste management, such as recycling, composting, reducing household hazardous waste, and addressing the life-cycle of products we consume every day.
This round-up of Edutopia articles features examples of how schools can benefit from the support and expertise of local businesses and organizations, as well as strategies for fostering successful business and community partnerships.
The third case study from the Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development discusses the role community partners can play in supporting children’s learning in collaboration with schools.
Founded in 1986, Youth Service America (YSA) supports a global culture of engaged children and youth committed to a lifetime of meaningful service, learning, and leadership. With half the world’s population under age 25, YSA’s mission is to help all young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. In 2016, YSA began to focus its assets and outcomes on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Through YSA’s programs, youth lead community change through:
- Awareness – educating others to change behaviors
- Service – using their passion, creativity, and idealism to solve problems through volunteerism
- Advocacy – to change policies and laws
- Philanthropy – generating and donating financial and in-kind support
YSA’s Learning Center has resources and trainings for educators, and the website’s Take Action tab provides ideas for service broken out by cause, audience, and YSA Programs.
Grants and Awards
The ASM Materials Education Foundation awards 20 grants of $500 annually to help K-12 teachers bring the real world of materials science into their classrooms. “Living in a Material World” grants recognize creativity and enhance awareness of materials science and the role that materials play in society. Teachers must describe a hands-on, curriculum-based K-12 project that involves student observation, teamwork, mathematics, and science skills that enhance student awareness of the everyday materials around them. The deadline for applications is May 25, 2019.
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.
Originally developed in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and with ongoing support from Voya Financial, ecoTech Grants are specifically offered to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. ecoTech Grants were created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. ecoTECH grant projects must:
- Be based in the U.S.
- Integrate the use of technology to address environmental problems (not iPads or other tablets)
- Be project-based
- Be youth-led
- Result in real, demonstrable environmental outcomes
ecoTECH grants are available as cash grants of up to $2,500 and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses. The deadline to submit an application is January 15, 2019.
The 2019 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 creative capabilities and confidence within the school community.
- Plan how and who will lead this collaborative effort.
- Complete the application.
- Submit application by June 21, 2019 (the principal must be a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals).
- Receive a gift — every Early Bird application submitted before midnight on Monday, June 3, 2019 will receive a Crayola product Classpack®.
Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.
The National Association of Geoscience Teachers gives these professional development awards to faculty and students at two year colleges and to K-12 teachers in support of:
- Participation in Earth Science classes or workshops
- Attendance at professional scientific or science education meetings
- Participation in Earth Science field trips
- Purchase of Earth Science materials for classroom use
Awards of $750 are made annually in three categories: Community College Faculty, Community College Student, and K-12 Educator. Award winners are also given a one-year membership to the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, which includes an online subscription to the Journal of Geoscience Education and the In The Trenches magazine. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019.
The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.
Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to EPA for consideration. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:
- restoring native habitats
- recycling in schools and communities
- construction of nature preserves
- tree planting
- installing renewable energy projects
- creating videos, skits, and newsletters that focused on environmental issues
- participating in many other creative sustainability efforts
PEYA has two parts — a regional award for Grades K-5 and a regional award for Grades 6-12. Each award-winning project will receive a Presidential plaque. All qualified applicants will receive a certificate honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment.
Applications are due February 1, 2019.
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. Applications for 2019 are being accepted through January 31, 2019. 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.
The nonprofit Action For Nature (AFN) created the International Young Eco-Hero Awards to recognize and reward the successful individual environmental initiatives of young people ages 8 to 16. To be considered, projects must address environmental health, advocacy, research, or protection of the natural world, be action-based, and self-initiated. Winners will be selected by a team of independent judges with experience in environmental issues.
Applications for 2019 are being accepted through February 28, 2019. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility requirements, judging criteria, prizes, and how to apply.
McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation Teacher Development Grants support small teams of teachers in the formation and implementation of groundbreaking K-12 classroom instruction. These grants provide opportunities for teachers to integrate fresh strategies that encourage critical inquiry and to observe their effects on students. Teachers have an opportunity to reflect and write about their projects, as well as to share their results with other teachers. The Foundation awards grants to individuals in amounts up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of $30,000 over three years, provided the eligibility requirements continue to be met.
Apply early! Submissions are accepted January 15 – April 15. The application system closes once 350 submissions are received.
Steelcase Education Active Learning Grants are available for grades 6 – 12 educators who are ready to use their physical classroom space to advance learning in new and important ways. Grants are valued at $67,000 and include furniture, a design review, installation, on-site training, and a Learning Environment Evaluation measurement tool. Up to 16 grants are awarded per year. The deadline to submit applications is February 1, 2019.