Climate change is driving unprecedented heat, drought, wildfire, and flooding in California, affecting students’ health, education, and future prospects. In the 2018-2019 school year alone, over 1.25 million California students missed school due to wildfires or other extreme weather. Furthermore, climate change exacerbates inequality, as marginalized communities, including low-income families and people of color, are more vulnerable to its effects. This highlights the urgent need for schools to address climate change and equip students with the knowledge and skills to build a more sustainable, just, and resilient future.
Schools can play a critical role in creating a climate-resilient future by integrating climate change education into their curriculum and operations. This involves not only teaching students about the science of climate change but also providing them with opportunities to develop solutions and engage in advocacy. This month, we highlight the Green Career Education Innovation Hub’s Roadmap Project, which aims to provide equitable access to high-quality green and blue careers for TK–16 students.
CAELI’s Green Career Education Innovation Hub Launches Roadmap Project at Educating for Careers Conference
CAELI’s Green Career Education Innovation Hub launched the public information-gathering phase of its Green Career Roadmap project at the annual Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento. The project aims to create a data-driven strategic plan to secure equitable access for TK–16 students to high-growth, high-quality green and blue careers that are essential to a sustainable future. Learn more about how the Green Career Education Innovation Hub is transforming the role that schools play in the fight against climate change.
Green Giants: Schoolyards, Gardens, Forests, and the Champions Who Support Them
Join us on March 16 for the third webinar in our District Innovation Hub Webinar Series! The Val Verde Unified School District will share strategies for creating and using natural learning spaces in your district. Val Verde Unified has spent the last seven years growing its green spaces program from a handful of garden beds at a few schools to having full garden and outdoor learning spaces at every school in the district. This webinar features the role of green spaces in promoting STEM learning and career development alongside environmental literacy.
Climate-Resilient California Schools: A Call to Action
California’s nearly six million public school students deserve to learn in conditions that are healthy, climate-ready, and free from disruption. That’s why over the last few months, Ten Strands has been working with a statewide coalition of nearly fifty experts – including doctors, medical and environmental health researchers, educators, youth, and community groups – to publish Climate-Resilient California Schools: A Call to Action, the first comprehensive study of climate-driven impacts on children in California that addresses the full scope of the problem while laying out an immediately actionable plan.
The report centers around a cost-effective, ten-year $150 billion investment ensuring California’s K–12 public schools are more climate-resilient against increasingly frequent threats like wildfires and heatwaves. The report lays out actionable next steps and fourteen recommendations to help us mitigate learning loss, youth anxiety, and school closures caused by climate-driven impacts — all crises already made worse by the pandemic.
Innovation Hub Spotlight
CAELI’s innovation hubs represent a growing community of people dedicated to environmental literacy and outdoor education for youth. Here, we introduce one of our innovation hub leaders!
Opportunities, Events, and News
- Ten Strands, in partnership with ITZA, is launching the One Planet Challenge–a worldwide school competition for students to deepen their understanding of climate change and sustainability and learn how to protect our planet. Starting on March 15, students can join others from around the world for the One Planet Oceans Challenge. It features four+ hours of interactive content and two live smartphone quizzes designed for students ages ten and above. Learn more about the Challenge and register your school to participate here.
- Join Ten Strands, Maine Environmental Education Association, and Campaign for Environmental Literacy on March 14 for a free webinar on the status of climate education policy and how schools are implementing curriculum on the ground. CAELI project director Andra Yeghoian will be speaking on the panel. Register here.
- In the coming years, the effects of climate change and environmental instability will affect individuals of all ages. However, the younger generation will face the greatest challenges. In a recent interview with Bioneers, Karen Cowe discussed the organization’s beginning and her personal experience of incorporating her passion for the environment into her professional life. Read more here.
- In partnership with the California Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education, Ten Strands and CAELI is pleased to offer the 2023 Organization of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes an outstanding organization advancing the impact of environmental and outdoor education in California in a meaningful way by offering innovative programs, following research-based best practices, and promoting equitable access to environmental learning. Nominate an outstanding organization today! Deadline: March 31, 2023. Learn more here.
- The California Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education is hosting its annual statewide conference, bringing together the community for a weekend of learning, connection, and fun. The conference will be held once again at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch in La Honda over the weekend of May 5-7, 2023. Registration is now open, and early-bird pricing is available through April 1. Learn more about the conference here.
- Latino Outdoors is hosting a week-long celebration this year from April 22-30. The initiative, called Semillitas Outdoors, offers virtual and in-person outings/events that center the experience of Latinx children and their families. Learn more here.
- Join Green Schoolyards America on March 21 for the Community of Practice for Schoolyard Forests, a free monthly discussion forum for school districts, county offices of education, and public agencies to share information and build a collegial network to help bring schoolyard forests to scale! Learn more and register here.