We all want our children to have opportunities—to be healthy, passionate, successful, active, educated, informed, and fulfilled. We want our children to find pathways through which they can excel, and mentors who will provide them with the skills and support necessary to thrive in our changing world.

Understanding our interconnection with each other and our environment is essential to our future, and every student in California—inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, citizenship status, and socioeconomic status—deserves access to a high-quality K–12 education that cultivates environmental literacy.

We understand that education unlocks the door to a future filled with possibilities for personal growth, leadership, and community involvement. The California Environmental Literacy Initiative collaborates with state agencies, county offices of education, K–12 districts, and community partners to prepare California’s students for the future. By helping educators incorporate environmental literacy into core curricula, we plant seeds that will encourage our children to grow into capable young adults who are knowledgeable, creative, skilled, and prepared to discover, advocate, and implement solutions to improve our world. By focusing on environmental literacy, we prepare our youth for college and careers and give them the skills they will need to address critical environmental challenges such as water and air pollution, increased fire risk, drought, and rising sea levels so that they, and future generations, can thrive.

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 need to empower our youth to create change in the world. When students build personal connections to nature, they benefit emotionally, academically, and physically. And they in turn will be of enormous benefit to society. CAELI is working to ensure all students have opportunities to build connection to nature and the skills to become environmentally literate. Our county is behind this work 100%.”

Amity Sandage, Environmental Literacy Coordinator, Santa Cruz County Office of Education

"I believe that the only way to keep California from burning, to keep Antarctica from melting, to keep the Amazon from shrinking, to keep the Middle East from being parched dry from any water is to accept that we are not separate from our world, we are a part of it. With this knowledge, we may be able to cultivate not only a thriving ecosystem, but a better world."

Lucia Garay, environmental justice advocate

"As a social studies educator for the past 25 years, and a former California instructional quality commissioner, one thing was made perfectly clear in my work to empower our youth: You can’t be truly environmentally literate if you don’t engage civically, and you can’t be truly civically literate if you don’t engage with environmental issues."

Jose Flores, Civics and Environmental Advisor, Comite Civico del Valle

“I have yet to meet a student who knows about these issues and is not motivated to act. I challenge everyone here to involve and engage youth in everything you do. I don’t know what climate challenges are coming. But I do know that if you give us a chance, my generation can solve them.”

Eleanor Huang, High School Student & Youth Leader

"For education to be effective, it must be relevant to what students are going through in their daily lives. Often, this is related to climate and other environmental issues. If they are able to understand that these local issues are affecting them and the people they care about, they will be able to connect it to larger, global issues. This creates a better understanding of what is happening in our world, and makes it easier for young people to find solutions to the issues they’re concerned about."

Max Jimenez, Education Outside Fellow, Strategic Energy Innovations