Eco-Schools USA: Helping Schools Go GreenTue 13 Nov 2012
Story by Jennifer Hammonds
Looking to address food and nutrition issues at your school? Eco-Schools USA is here to help you!
Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles inside and outside their schools, make natural connections to state-mandated curriculum, and engage and enrich the student experience.
Eco-Schools are found in over 50 countries, reaching nearly 40,000 K-12 schools, and more than 11 million students.
The program is designed to:
• Be student driven and awards based
• Engage students in active citizenship
• Build critical thinking skills
• Promote awareness and behavior changes
• Cultivate the next generations of environmental stewards
The seven step framework is universal to all countries and is what guides students and teachers in addressing environmental issues and inspire positive actions.
• Form Eco-Action Team
• Complete an Environmental Audit
• Create Eco-Action Plan
• Monitor and Evaluate progress on your action plan
• Link your actions and initiatives to the curriculum
• Involve the community
• Create an Eco-Code
There are many pathways to sustainability. Each country chooses the pathways to include in their program. In the United States our environmental focus areas include Sustainable Food (modeled after Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution), Healthy Living, School Grounds, Biodiversity, Consumption and Waste, Energy, Water, Climate Change, Healthy Schools, Transportation.
Registration is free and easy!
Join the global community today!
Outside the U.S., you can find your country here.
About the author: Jennifer Hammonds is the science education and curriculum specialist with the National Wildlife Federation and lives in Texas where she was a former middle school science teacher. Focusing on educational best practices and STEM through the lens of environmental education, Jennifer works with our nation’s educators to weave sustainable practices into educational best practices throughout the school experience and strives to stop the leaking STEM pipeline, promote STEM careers, and engage our youth in environmental stewardship.
Photo Credit: Houston ISD
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