About Us

The California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), led by Ten Strands, works statewide with guidance from a leadership council to create systems change in support of environmental literacy with a focus on access, equity, and cultural relevance for all students.

We have a responsibility to the next generation to prepare the people who will inherit the leadership and care of our world. CAELI can help us fulfill this responsibility by using private investment to power public change.

In 2015, the California Department of Education, working with a 48-member Environmental Literacy Taskforce, published California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. In 2016, stakeholders representing governmental agencies, education, environmental, and community-based organizations came together to begin the work outlined in the Blueprint:

  • Creating a supportive statewide context for environmental literacy
  • Infusing environment-based learning throughout the K–12 public education system
  • Supporting districts and counties who are embracing environmental literacy to meet district goals

Core Values

Equity & Cultural Relevance. We know that people of color and low-income communities are most impacted by pollution and environmental degradation. We believe that all California’s students have the right to learn in, from, and about their environment. We know that when it comes to our environment, none of us succeed unless all of us succeed.

Education. We believe in the power of education to positively impact who students become and how they interact with our world. We believe in supporting students to develop the knowledge, understanding, and opportunities that prepare them to fulfill their potential to imagine—and realize—a better world.

Leadership. We know that California is an environmental leader—from clean air, water, and emissions regulations to climate issues—and actions in California provide models for others to follow.

Connection & Care. We know that education in, for, and about the environment is not an add-on—it is a better way for students to learn. We understand that people and place are inextricably connected. CAELI is about achieving the attainable goal of a state whose people care about each other, our communities, and our environment—and know how to act on that caring. We have bold ideas for how to achieve environmental literacy, and we work collaboratively with partners, educators, students, and community members to achieve them.