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9-25-2013: Grant Helps Students Prepare For Jobs in Green Economy

Green Education Foundation (GEF) Receives Grant to Fund Green Building and Energy Curriculum to Colorado Schools

September 2013 – Xcel Energy recently announced the recipients of its grant funding for non-profit organizations in Colorado for work in education and the environment. Green Education Foundation (GEF) is proud to be among those selected for their reach and impact in making quality sustainability education available to youth and educators.

“We’re delighted to continue and expand our work in Colorado through the valued support of Xcel Energy in educating students on energy conservation strategies along with the resounding benefits associated with green construction,” noted Victoria Waters, GEF president. “With green jobs outpacing all others combined, now is the time to introduce students to these exciting opportunities by engaging them in real-life hands-on learning.”

Xcel Energy’s is part of the company’s corporate giving Environment focus area which supports nonprofit organizations like Green Education Foundation that provide K-12 students with hands-on environmental education experiences and curriculum that foster an ethic of stewardship and conservation and that support academic content standards.

The success of our company is directly related to the health of our communities,” said Monique Lovato, Xcel Energy’s Director of Corporate Giving. “Through our Foundation grants we can positively impact the quality of life in the towns and cities we serve.”

Through this grant, GEF is able to offer its robust blended learning curriculum, which introduces students to leading edge green building topics, at no cost to select schools in Colorado. A high school teacher who utilized the curriculum, Alisha Lugo, commented on her experiences with GEF’s blended learning platform and the subject matter: “My students really enjoyed the interactivity and hands-on lessons. They also appreciated the online platform and the fact that the subject matter has real-world applications and a career connection. As a teacher, I appreciated the ready-to-use materials and the fact that it provided a fresh approach to teaching science concepts.” The curriculum was integrated into what was already being taught in the high schools Energy and Natural Resources science class, part of the school’s career and technology department.

GEF’s green building curriculum is designed as a blended learning experience in which teachers can access and download all necessary materials, including presentation slides, digital textbook, manual and pacing guide, through the Institute’s online learning management system. Using the online portal, teachers can assign homework, track progress and submit grades. Students can also login to the online system to access their own materials such as online quizzes, videos, readings, discussion forums and glossaries.

There are currently six, 30-hour units available including Introduction to Green Building, Energy and the Built Environment, Water and the Built Environment, Indoor Environmental Quality, Materials and Resources, Sustainable Sites and Land Use, Building Science, and the Present and Future of Green Building.

In addition to the Green Building course the grant supports GEF’s Green Energy Challenge which offers sustainability lessons and activities related to energy conservation and the environment. This national program encourages students to make small changes in their behaviors and then to measure their collective impact. In doing so, lifelong habits of conservation are developed and can grow throughout communities organically.

To learn more about the Green Building Program and Green Energy Challenge, visit http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/index.php

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About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.

Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at www.greeneducationfoundation.org. Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenedufoundation. Visit www.gefinstitute.org to access online courses and certificate programs in sustainability for academic and professional credit.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company operating in eight Western and Midwestern states. The company is committed to providing cost-effective, clean, responsible energy delivered with the highest standards for safety, reliability and responsiveness. Xcel Energy supports communities in four important focus areas: math and science education; environmental stewardship; job training, placement and creation; and access to arts and culture. In 2012, Xcel Energy invested $8 million in support of communities across its service territory.