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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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GEF is calling on schools to participate in sustainability education (SE) now through Earth Day (April 22) 2011

February, 2011 — Green Education Foundation (GEF) is calling on students to participate in National Green Week 2011—a free sustainability education program that runs from now until Earth Day (April 22) 2011.

Schools can choose any week during this timeframe to be their Green Week. GEF encourages teachers and students to discuss environmental issues and specifically what they can do to make a difference in protecting the planets valuable resources. National Green Week 2011 provides teachers with educational content based on national standards which are incorporated into GEF’s science, math, language arts, social studies and creative arts curricula.

“By participating in National Green Week 2011, students will learn that simple decisions such as turning off lights, adjusting thermostat settings and and packing snacks and drinks in reusable containers can add up to big savings in energy and waste,” noted Victoria Waters, president and founder of GEF. “Children are in the best position to impact the future of the environment by developing green behaviors that become lifelong habits.”

National Green Week 2011 provides schools with comprehensive sustainability education curriculum coupled with hands-on components aimed at achieving the following national objectives:
  • The Green Energy Challenge, a featured component National Green Week 2011, provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to audit their schools and homes for energy waste. Participating schools research utility bills and implement simple yet comprehensive changes in an effort to reduce energy costs between now and Earth Day (April 22) 2011. Audit checklists and energy experiments accompany the program.
  • In Waste-Free Snacks, students nationwide participate in the largest school-based waste-reduction program of all time by simply pledging to carry their drinks and snacks in reusable containers during their chosen Green Week. The goal is to eliminate 200,000 lbs of trash from schools and landfills.
  • The Green Thumb Challenge is the largest youth gardening initiative, with over 5,000 schools participating in using gardens as a teaching tool. The goal is for 10,000 schools to plant sustainability education (SE) gardens. To access GEF’s comprehensive school gardening website visit www.greenthumbchallenge.org.


In addition, GEF will offer a robust set of Sustainability Education (SE) K12 professional development courses and certification program with the goal of inspiring educators to green school districts across the country.

“Sustainability Education (SE) is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of ecological, economic and social systems with real-world applied learning strategies,” commented Jessica Drench, GEF Director of Curriculum. “SE develops the 21st century skills, vision and intellectual habits necessary to build a sustainable future for a scalable global society.”

GEF’s Sustainability Education (SE) professional development courses for K12 educators will be available January 2012. Teachers may choose to take the full curriculum to receive a GEF SE Certification or individual courses for PDPs, CEUs, and/or college credit. Courses will be available in both online and workshop formats.

“Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success,” Obama said in the State of the Union address. “But if we want to win the future -- if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas -- then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.”

K12 educators interested in piloting GEF’s Sustainability Education (SE) curriculum this summer can contact GEF via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Enroll for a free GEF membership to gain access to our comprehensive online library of standards-based curriculum at: www.greeneducationfoundation.org.

What is Sustainability Education (SE)?
Sustainability Education (SE) is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of ecological, economic, and social systems with real-world applied learning strategies. SE develops the 21st century skills, vision, and intellectual perspective essential to build a sustainable future rooted in knowledge of the past and attentive to the needs of the present.

Green Building Program Pilot Opportunities
GEF is actively seeking pilot schools to participate in its Green Building Program. Schools and classes interested in piloting its K-8 School as a Teaching Tool curriculum (pilot start date is Jan. 2011) and high school one semester environmental science elective Green Building Course (pilot start date is Sept. 2011), please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. To learn more, visit www.greenbuildingprogram.us.

State of the Union Address, January 2011
President Obama urged Americans to follow his lead in promoting green energy in the United States during last week’s State of the Union address. The President said he wants 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035.

“Some folks want wind and solar [energy]. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas,” Obama said. “To meet this goal, we will need them all -- and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”

Green Education Foundation (GEF) promotes clean energy during National Green Week 2011- a free sustainability education program that runs from now until Earth Day (April 22) 2011.

About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org to register for free and to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities.

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

Online Professional Development

Visit GEF Institute's website to find online, sustainability-focused professional development courses. Earn a certificate or simply take a course for academic or professional development credits through the Institute's partnering university.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi