Environmental Literacy for NH Students

Please tell the Dept. of Education that we want hands-on, experiential, place-based, outdoor learning for our students in NH! We have a window of opportunity to really make a difference in the future of environmental education in New Hampshire.

The Every Student Succeed Act included environmental education and STEM in the definition of a well rounded education which was a major achievement.  It is very important that New Hampshire’s ESSA plan includes language about environmental education particular making sure that environmental education are acceptable for funding under both under Title II (Professional Development) and Title IV (Student Support and Academic Grants).  Public comment for NH’s vision of ESSA is being collected now!

For more information, visit this website:  http://education.nh.gov/essa/index.htm

There are two ways to make your voices heard. Fill out a the survey link below.

Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YT6BFML to participate in a survey that is intended to gather input from New Hampshire citizens about what they value in their education system.  Respond by Nov 18 All responses will be available to the public.

Make time to go to one of the listening sessions. We have already missed the first one but there are five more to come in the next ten days, including one in Keene tonight.

Here are some talking points.

  • Environmental Education increases overall student engagement and motivation.
  • Increases academic performance on assessments
  • Provides for authentic locally relevant real world application STEM learning using hands on, field based and service learning.
  • increases physical and mental health.
  • Increases positive collaboration among educators.
  • Using the community and local environment to apply 21st Century Skills.

Here is a good link regarding the benefits of EE for K-12 students


Let’s make a difference for environmental education and move towards creating  environmentally literate citizenry.

Thanks for your participation.

Judy Silverberg, PhD
Convener for NH Environmental Literacy Plan

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Environmental Education in the Every Student Succeeds Act



Large numbers of environmental education providers, conservation organizations, businesses, sportsman’s groups, health care workers, school administrators and others have advocated for increased federal support for environmental education through amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly No Child Left Behind). In 2007, Senator Jack Reed and Congressman John Sarbanes first introduced the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI) which would amend ESEA to include federal funds that state could use for implementation of state-wide environmental literacy plans. The legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support since that time and a modified version of the bill passed the House in 2008.

The years of advocacy and support for NCLI have yielded critical and unprecedented gains for environmental education. States across the country have begun or completed comprehensive environmental literacy plans that address opportunities to embed EE in K-12 schools as well as increase access to nature at the community level. Working closely with Senator Reed’s office, NAAEE, along with its affiliates and partners secured some key language for EE in the Senate version of a reauthorization bill for the ESEA which passed in July. A House version also passed in July, but it was remarkably different than the Senate version and contained no language referencing environmental education or environmental literacy.

NAAEE closely monitored negotiations between Senate and House leadership as they sought to draft compromise legislation late this fall. While the final proposal looked more like the House version than the Senate, the language supporting environmental education remains intact.

EE Language

The key language sits in Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act—21st Century Schools. Environmental education is called out as eligible for funding under a $1.6B “well-rounded education” grants program and environmental literacy programs are eligible for funding as part of the $1B 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It’s worth noting that the prioritization of STEM activities including “hands-on learning” and “field-based or service learning” to enhance understanding of STEM subjects may provide additional opportunities for environmental science education programs.

The Every Student Succeeds Act passed the House on December 2, 2015 with a vote of 359-64. It is expected to pass the Senate next week.

Next Steps

While we are celebrating this advance for EE after many years of hard work, there is a great deal that will need to happen after the legislation is signed into law.

State and local education agencies and their nonformal partners will need guidance and technical assistance to effectively leverage this unprecedented opportunity. There are likely opportunities to encourage further prioritize systemic EE as states grant federal dollars to local school systems. NAAEE will continue to analyze the full bill and develop communications to inform affiliates, EE providers, and state and local education agencies how the law may benefit their environmental literacy work. NAAEE continues to work closely with Senator Reed and Congressman Sarbanes to assess additional opportunities to strengthen federal support for EE.

Read the NAAEE Press Release by Sarah Boder on PRWeb at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/12/prweb13120108.htm


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Integrating Science and Technology: A Natural Connection

In our 21st century learning environment, how can we use technology to bring students closer to nature instead of creating a barrier?  Learn ways to use tech devices such as digital cameras, digital microscopes, iPads, flip cams and more. We will look at ways to engage even our youngest learners, bringing them up close and in contact with their natural world by creating projects that are meaningful and developmentally appropriate. This workshop will be taught by Karen Landsman, a Library Media and Technology Integration Specialist in Hooksett.

To Register Contact:
Ruth Smith, rsmith@nhaudubon.org; 603-224-9909 ext. 313

Who: K-5 Educators
When: November 13, 4:30-6:30pm
Where: McLane Audubon Center, Concord, NH
Cost: $35* members; $40 non-members
*One-year complimentary membership is available at

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Wings at Your Window! Engaging Students through Winter Bird Feeding

Liven up the winter by attracting birds to your classroom window for close-up observation. Use student observations to integrate language arts, math, art, and science, and learn how students can collect data for the NH Winter Bird Survey and Great Backyard Bird Count. Participants will gain an overview of winter bird biology, identification, and feeding. Through centers, participants will gain ideas for literacy, writing, math and bird feeding investigations. Earn 2 professional development credits. Participants will receive a window feeder and sunflower seed. Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Blue Seal are sponsors of this workshop.

Objectives: At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to—

¨ Describe basic winter bird biology

¨ Identify common winter birds

¨ Use bird observation tools: journal, field guide, binocular

¨ Set-up a bird feeding station

¨ Access bird-focused activities

¨ Discuss ties to Common Core Standards

Who: Educators of grades K-4

Where: McLane Audubon Center, Concord; Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn

When: Oct. 2 (McLane Center) or Oct. 9(Massasbesic Center); 4:30 to 6:30pm

Cost: *$40 non-members; $35 members

*In celebration of our centennial year, educators can join NHA for free through the end of the year


4:30-5:15 – Overview and Presentation

5:15-6:20—Activity Centers and Review of Bird Feeding Station Plans

6:20-6:30—Group Discussion and Evaluations

*Light snacks will be provided.

What to Bring (Optional):

¨ Sketch of the area where you plan to set-up bird feeder(s)

¨ Thumb drive for free copy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “Feathered Friends” curriculum

Register On-line: http://www.nhaudubon.org/nature-store/teacher-workshops

Questions: Contact Hilary Chapman, hchapman@nhaudubon.org

Learn More at http://www.nhaudubon.org/ai1ec_event/wings-at-your-window-extending-curricula-with-bird-observations?instance_id=85

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Registration for the NEEEA Better Together Summit is Open

October 24-26, 2014  –  Pineland Farms  –  New Gloucester, Maine

Download the  Summit Program Guide

Register for the Summit

  • Collaborate for a Resilient World
  • Strengthen our Collective Impact

Together we will inform, inspire and foster innovative collaborations among organizations and leaders from many different sectors and endeavors. Do you work for environmental literacy? Science education? Land conservation? Community food security? Outdoor recreation? Environmental justice? Resilient communities? Do you seek to enhance the relationships among people, nature and communities? Our work may not look the same, but you know we are all inherently interconnected. Your participation will help make us better together.

Join the New England Environmental Education Alliance and the Maine Environmental Education Association at Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester, Maine. Twenty miles north of Portland, Pineland Farms is a 5,000-acre working farm, business and learning campus, and an inspiring venue for outdoor education and recreation.

  • Come and strengthen our connections and find common ground
  • Learn powerful new strategies for impactful collaborations
  • Celebrate the sum of our parts
  • Foster innovative partnerships
  • Create robust pathways to environmental literacy.

Better Together Summit Features

  • Over 45 workshops on topics such as collaborative strategies, community partnerships, engaging new audiences, environmental psychology, climate change education, advocacy, organizational development, and many more.
  • The Better Together Innovation Lab – an intensive, all day session for leaders, program innovators, and everyone who wants to take part in developing new ways to strengthen our impact through collaborations, alliances, and networks.
  • Keynotes and other plenary activities, as well as eye-opening and provocative ideas from all Summit participants.

The Better Together Summit is for you if:

  • You want to learn how to create a better world through teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration
  • You want to hear ideas about how education and learning can help us reach a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for all
  • You teach children, adults, and families about environmental knowledge and skills to help create and sustain healthy communities and the environment
  • You use science to promote learning about the natural world, its systems, and all its inhabitants.
  • You support learning that enhances innovative thinking, academic achievement, and skill development for the 21st century
  • You want to join an open dialogue with practitioners, innovators, administrators, researchers, and funders in exploring collaborative strategies to increase environmental literacy and its impact on attaining healthy, vibrant communities

Questions? Email: summit@neeea.org

www.neeea.org     —     www.meeassociation.org

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Administration Honors U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees; Announces Second Annual Best Practices Tour

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

Contact: Press Office (202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

White House Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chair Mike Boots and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mark Schaefer joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

At the event, 48 schools were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including STEM, green careers and civics. In addition, nine districts were honored with the District Sustainability Award.

Representatives from honored schools and districts received sustainably crafted plaques and banners in recognition of their achievements.

“Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education,” said Secretary Duncan. “Today’s honorees are leading the way on incorporating best practices to reduce facility costs and increase achievement, health and equity, for all schools – not just aspiring green schools.”

“The 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are leading by example for the rest of the country,” said Acting Chair Boots. “As they take important steps to improve public health and reduce environmental impacts, like cutting carbon pollution and improving water quality, today’s honorees are also increasing efficiency and cutting costs. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need to build a cleaner and safer world.”

“We live in a time when ecosystems and the forces that influence them are changing rapidly.  Now more than ever, we need to prepare youth for a world in which their understanding of and participation in decisions about resource conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development will define the quality of their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Schaefer.  This is why U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is so important to individuals, communities, schools, and businesses across America.”

Duncan also announced the 2014 “Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students” Best Practices Tour.  The annual Green Strides Best Practices our will take place August-October 2014 and spotlight school environmental health. During the tour, federal, state and local visitors will bring attention to how school facilities, health and wellness, and environmental education affect equity and achievement and highlight best practices that states, districts and schools are using to improve the overall wellness, productivity, and achievement of occupants through health, safety, and educational improvements.   This year’s tour legs include past and present school and district honorees in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by 30 state education agencies. Honorees include 39 public schools and nine private schools. The public schools include 10 early learning programs, three charter, one magnet and three career and technical schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 29 elementary, 16 middle and 18 high schools from 27 states. Twenty-one of the 2014 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, and 18 are rural.

View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 57 honorees.

The Department is asking districts to indicate their intent to nominate schools for next year’s awards by Aug. 1, 2014. For the first time ever, the 2015 Green Ribbon Schools awards will be open to colleges and universities. States will offer applications for interested schools, districts and postsecondary institutions in the fall. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.


Best Practices Tour Agenda 


Monday, August 18th

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Petersburg Elementary School, 333 Rig St, Petersburg, WV 26847

Tuesday, August 19th

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Listening Session in Charleston

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Wyoming County Career and Technical Center, W Virginia 97, Pineville, WV 24874


Wednesday, August 20th

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.          Tour Northern Elementary School, 3600 Cincinnati Rd, Georgetown, KY 40324

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.            Tour Georgetown Middle School, 730 S Hamilton St, Georgetown, KY 40324

2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.              Listening Session, Tour and Discussion, Big Ass Fans Headquarters, 2348 Innovation Drive, Lexington, KY 40511

Thursday, August 21

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.            Tour Rosa Parks Elementary, 1251 Beaumont Centre Lane, Lexington, KY 40513

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Wellington Elementary School, 3280 Keithshire Way, Lexington, KY 40503

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, 3591 Leestown Road, Lexington, KY 40511

Friday, August 22nd

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Hilltop Elementary School, 2 Ram Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Cameron Middle-High School, 61 Maple Avenue Cameron, WV 26033

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.             Tour Eastwood Elementary School, 677 201st Memorial Hwy, Morgantown, WV 26505


Thursday, September 4th

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Pine Jog Elementary School, 6315 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.            Tour Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.             Tour Galaxy Elementary School, 550 Northwest 4th Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL 33435

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.             Social hosted by City of West Palm Beach’s Office of Sustainability

Friday, September 5th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Silver Ridge Elementary, 9100 SW 36th St, Davie, FL 33328

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Driftwood Middle School, 2751 NW 70th, Hollywood, FL 33024

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.           Listening Session at South Plantation High School, 1300 SW 54th Ave, Plantation, FL 33317

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.             Hugh Taylor Birch Youth Lodge featuring New River Middle School, 3109 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304


Tuesday, September 16th

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Kick Off Event and Listening Session at Colorado Department of Education, Denver

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.          Tour Denver Green School, 6700 E Virginia Ave, Denver

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.            Lunch and Introduction to Douglas County School District, 620 Wilcox St, Castle Rock

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.              Tour Flagstone Elementary School, 104 Lovington St, Castle Rock

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.              Tour Larkspur Elementary, 1103 W. Perry Park Ave Larkspur

Wednesday, September 17th

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.              Tour Wellington Middle School, 4001 Wilson Ave, Wellington

9:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.            Tour Lesher Middle School, 1400 Stover Street, Fort Collins

11:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.          Tour Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, 3002 E Trilby Rd, Fort Collins

12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.            Lunch and tour Boulder Valley Public Schools, 6500 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder


Tuesday, September 23rd

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Tour School of Environmental Studies, 12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley, MN 55124

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.          Tour Garlough Elementary, 1740 Charlton St, West St Paul, MN 55118

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.             Tour Heritage E-STEM Middle School, 121 Butler Ave W, West St Paul, MN 55118

Wednesday, September 24th

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.              Tour Waconia Public Schools, 512 Industrial Blvd, Waconia, MN 55387

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Jeffers Pond Elementary, 14800 Jeffers Pass NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.             Tour Five Hawks Elementary, 16620 Five Hawks Ave SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.             Listening session – Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, 4540 Tower St SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372


Wednesday, October 8th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Folger McKinsey Elementary School, 175 Arundel Beach Road, Severna Park, MD 21148

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Dunloggin Middle School, 9129 Northfield Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Listening session

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.             Tour Francis Scott Key Middle School, 910 Schindler Drive
Silver Spring, Maryland 20903

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New Searchable, Free Teaching Resources on Climate and Energy in the CLEAN Collection Grades K-16

Looking for well-vetted resources on climate and energy literacy for the classroom?CLEAN has just launched a brand new, searchable portal of online learning activities, videos and visualizations on climate and energy.

The Brand New CLEAN Portal offers the following resources and support:

1. The CLEAN search engine directs you to online activities, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy that are searchable by grade level, topic, and resource type. These resources have been reviewed by scientists and educators for accuracy and classroom effectiveness and provide additional insight and guidance on using the materials.

2. Join the vibrant CLEAN Network email list for updates on educational policies and science, discussions with experts, conference & workshop announcements, and weekly telecons (Tuesdays at 1 pm ET). Join the CLEAN Network email list by contacting joincleannetwork@cleanet.org.

3. Follow the CLEAN team on facebook or twitter to see featured resources from the CLEAN Portal as well as climate extensions to help you stay up-to-date on the latest climate and energy literacy news!

4. CLEAN’s guidance on teaching climate and energy science provides a set of essential principles to frame the science and inform your teaching strategies. Learn more about these scientific principles, why they are important and challenging to learn, strategies for teaching age groups, and get directed to relevant activities, videos, and visualizations for each principle.

CLEAN Principal Investigators:
Dr. Tamara S. Ledley, TERC, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Susan B. Sullivan, University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Boulder, CO
Dr. Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Find out more at http://cleanet.org/index.html

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Climate Change in Focus: Student Video Contest

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Environmental Education Foundation have launched an exciting video challenge for middle school students called Climate Change in Focus.  This contest asks middle school students to make a video that expresses why they care about climate change and what they are doing to reduce emissions or to prepare for its impacts.  Winning videos will be highlighted on the EPA website and the top three entries will receive cool prizes like a solar charging backpack.  Winning class projects will receive special recognition for their school.  The first 100 entrants will also receive a year’s subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine. The deadline for submissions is March 10.

The National Environmental Education Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are partnering to bring you this climate change student video contest. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a video that is 30-120 seconds long (so 2 minutes maximum) and that answers these two questions:

  1.     Why do you care about climate change?
  2.     How are you reducing carbon pollution or preparing for the impacts of climate change?

Your video should describe how climate change affects you, your family, friends, and community, now or in the future. Be cool! Be creative! Use storytelling or images or shadow puppets or anything that explains the steps you’re taking, or could take, to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for a changing climate. Feel free to recruit your friends and make it a group project (one prize will be awarded for each winning entry).

For more information, visit http://epa.gov/climatestudents/contest.html.

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Workshop on Engaging Persons with Disabilities in the Environmental Sciences and Forestry

We are pleased to announce a new partnership between the Forest Service and the University of Southern Maine to develop a hybrid experiential educational program linking real time learning experiences with Real Time data to better engage students and staff with special needs in the environmental sciences and forestry.

Read the Press Release from the Forest Service.

Our first activity is a half-day workshop to be held at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest on March 14, 2014, where our USM colleagues will present 10 years of experience working with STEM students with disabilities, our Hubbard Brook staff will share background on our RealTime environmental sensor technology, and we will have a panel discussion to explore avenues of cooperation and collaboration between the programs. A flyer is attached.

Download the attached flyer

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Environmental and STEM Education: A Natural Connection

Thanks to Rick Reynolds for posting and sharing his Prezi!

References & Resources
Archie, M. (2003). Advancing Education through Environmental Literacy. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Download at: http://repositories.tdl.org/tamug-ir/handle/1969.3/27975

Bell, J., Wilson, J., and Liu, G.. Neighborhood Greenness and 2-year Changes in Body Mass Index of Children and Youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2008;35(6):547-553. Download at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19000844

The National Education and Environment Partnership. (2002). Environmental Education and Educational Achievement: Promising Programs and Resources. Washington, DC: National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. Download at: http://www.neefusa.org/pdf/prom-programs.pdf

The National Environmental Education Foundation. (2000, Sep). Environment-Based Education: Creating High Performance Schools and Students. Washington, DC: National Environmental Education Foundation. Abstract at: http://www.neefusa.org/pdf/NEETF8400.pdf

Ritz, Stephen. (2012). A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx. TED.com. http://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_ritz_a_teacher_growing_green_in_the_south_bronx.html

Taylor, A. & Kuo, F. Children with Attention Deficits Concentrate Better after Walk in the Park. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2008;12(5):402-409.  Abstract at: http://jad.sagepub.com/content/12/5/402

More Research, Case Studies, and Ideas at:
Children & Nature Network: http://www.childrenandnature.org/documents/C118
National Environmental Education Week: http://www.eeweek.org/resources/EE_benefits
Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors: http://www.eeweek.org/pdf/EE_Week_2013_Educator_Toolkit.pdf
Facing the Future: http://www.facingthefuture.org/

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