As leaders in education, you are nurturing our most valuable resource: our young people. You know that schools hold space at the heart of your community, and we know that your leadership results in meaningful, measurable outcomes for your students and communities.

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

Environmental literacy prioritizes including and engaging students of color in meaningful, culturally relevant ways, empowering them to achieve academic success and advocate for themselves, their communities, and the planet. We work with districts and county offices of education to ensure that resources, partnerships, and support systems are focused on equity, and explicitly prioritize communities that have historically been excluded from participation in environmental learning.

Environmental literacy is an effective strategy to support the health of people and the planet. By focusing on environmental literacy, we strengthen core curricula by infusing it with an understanding of the interrelatedness of human and natural systems: preparing our youth to address critical environmental challenges so that they, and future generations, can thrive. CAELI collaborates with state agencies, county offices of education, community partners, and TK–12 district leaders to prioritize real-world learning for students relevant to the places they live. We listen to the needs of TK–12 school administrators and build connections between schools and local community partners to expand access to innovative educational resources, making environmental literacy a supportive and integral part of every student’s education.

Spread the Word!

Your voice is a powerful tool in getting the word out about the California Environmental Literacy Initiative.

If you have an environmental literacy story to tell, please share it with us!

“We are passionate about the impact environmental literacy has in giving communities of color specifically, but also all communities, the ability to advocate for their health and wellbeing. Ten Strands brings a much-needed K–12 focus on environmental literacy throughout the state and has helped us maximize impact for our teachers, students, and community.”

Juanita Chan, STEM, College, & Career Pathways Coordinator, Rialto USD

"Equity in environmental literacy for Plumas County is about creating educational programming that gets every student outside—every week of every year of their public school education."

Rob Wade, Environmental Literacy Coordinator, Plumas USD

"The work we have done around environmental literacy this year has inspired many of our teachers to explore science outside of the classroom. Teachers who ventured outside with their classes have discovered that their students are highly engaged, find relevance in their learning about science, and are building an awareness of the environment that they interact with on a daily basis. Not only do our students have a greater understanding of the world around them, our teachers also see the value in making these connections."

Leonard Fischer, STEM Coordinator, Fontana USD

"In just a few years we have gone from a small summer professional development program to a full-fledged initiative with programs that provide supportive context for all stakeholders—administrators, faculty and staff, students, and community-based partners. I could not have done this without the rich collaboration with CAELI and K–12 environmental literacy networks."

Andra Yeghoian, Environmental Literacy Coordinator, San Mateo County Office of Education

"At a time when the environment is in the news nearly every day, it is especially important that we provide students with the resources and tools to understand how decisions in the past have shaped the realities of today. Moreover, teaching students about how they can contribute to a sustainable future helps meet the civic learning priorities of our schools. CAELI has given us the opportunity to develop materials and strategies for integrating these important components of instruction into the K–12 history–social science classroom."

Shelley Brooks, Program Coordinator, California History–Social Science Project