The Goal —> Sustainability Literacy
Sustainable literacy builds on environmental education (an awareness and basic knowledge of how earth’s natural systems function) by also understanding how nature, cultures, and economies function, and how they intersect and interact over time. Sustainability literacy develops knowledge and skills to understand present and anticipated environmental challenges as well as individual and societal responses to those challenges.
You’re sustainability literate if you’re engaged in your community and take personal action to improve quality of life.
NEW! Colorado Environmental Education Plan Adopted
We are excited to announce that the Colorado Department of Education (in partnership with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources) has adopted the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. The Plan will make it easier for school districts, teachers, and ultimately students to get the resources and training to learn more about the environment in which they live, understand their relationship and dependency to the natural world and the community, and be prepared to face environmental challenges and opportunities. Read more about the Colorado EE Plan here.
Environmental Literacy in Schools: Success Stories across Colorado
Environmental Education programs throughout Colorado are
• engaging students to learn about and enhance community interest in real world topics
• improving scores in science, reading, math, writing, and social studies
• preparing students with skills and knowledge for 21st century careers
Nineteen diverse public schools are featured in the Success Stories Report. The report is a research collaboration among the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the University of Colorado at Denver Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development and the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.
Use this report as a guide to start your school’s sustainability literacy program.
Download the report as a pdf file here.
View the report below:
Resources to build Sustainable Literacy
The following resources provide insight to promote sustainable literacy and foster environmental education in your school or organization:
Alliance’s Education page check out our favorite recommendations for high quality sustainability literacy resources
Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education provides a toolkit as well as a list of resources for teachers and administrators to develop and integrate a specific environmental education program designed to fulfill the needs and goals for a specific grade, vested school interest, or district wide.
The Orton Family Foundation Youth Engagement Guide engaging young people can be rewarding on many levels. Young people who participate in community activities enjoy the opportunity to benefit personally by being socially productive.
Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network provides peer reviewed lesson plans
Next Generation Science Standards Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards are being developed that will be rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmark science education.
Moving the Classroom Outdoors Colorado Public Radio interviews the Alliance’s Special Programs Director, Janna Six
Fairview High School Video Project Curious what students think about environmental education? Watch a series of short videos on sustainability topics, created by students at Fairview High School.
If you’re in school and are trying to learn how you can plug into sustainability efforts in Colorado, watch this page for opportunities for youth representation:
* February 22nd Legislative Briefing on Sustainability at the State Capitol
* March 6th Northern Colorado Sustainability Roundtable
How can you support sustainability literacy?
Involve young people in your sustainability discussions and planning. Young children are naturally curious about the world around them. They grasp more easily than adults that various elements of a system must work collaboratively, interdependently and cyclically in order to keep that system working effectively and efficiently.
Help us publicize the Environmental Literacy Success Stories report across Colorado on your own web page, blog, Facebook or Twitter account.