Leading Edge Exemplars

We work with leaders at districts and county offices of education around the state that reflect the diversity of California’s geography and student population to support them in the process of integrating environmental literacy into their goals. These partnerships foster and demonstrate models set up for success and sustainability that are relevant to local communities and places.

School districts and county offices of education throughout California are engaged in environmental literacy planning and implementation, infusing standards- and environment-based learning as a foundational component of students’ K–12 educational experiences in science, history–social science, health, arts education, and other subjects. This first-wave group offers models for others across the state who are interested in how environmental literacy can support their own educational goals.

We engage with a wide array of community organizations, including museums, outdoor educators, water districts, local businesses, and government agencies. These organizations are important partners in creating opportunities for classroom, campus, community, and field-based experiences that support successful districtwide environmental literacy. CAELI regional support organization partners include Lawrence Hall of ScienceState Education and Environment Roundtable, Inside the Outdoors, and Youth Outside.

Districts with environmental literacy programs:

CAELI’s work with school districts and county offices of education is focused on balancing the development of common strategies and resources that can be used to meet the particular needs of students and local communities.

Often, field and community-based experiences serve as the focal point for expanding environmental literacy experiences into classrooms and across content areas. Whether initiated by administrators or championed at first by teachers, educators across California are able to articulate more clearly each school year how academic curriculum, socio-emotional learning, student wellness, and school operations work together to create environmentally literate students empowered to create more sustainable and just communities.

CAELI works with partners to build the capacity of school districts working toward achieving environmental literacy for their students. District leadership teams are making strong headway on their environmental literacy implementation plans.