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Improving Educational Outcomes with Environmental Literacy

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Esperanza Elementary School
680 Little Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $0.00
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Join us for a follow-up conversation from June’s SCG Environmental Funders Group meeting about the relationship between school campus environments, access to nature and improved educational outcomes.

As education funders, we are keenly aware of the problems that teachers face in the classroom with seemingly unending new academic requirements being put on them. There is a way forward that is meeting with huge success in our schools: using the students’ own environment to make subjects more relevant, engaging and appealing. We have learned a lot about how private philanthropy can be a huge lever in improving the education that all 6,000,000 public students deserve. It is called “environmental literacy.”

Our own state superintendent, Tom Torlakson, who runs California's $84 billion K-12 public school system believes this:

"A future prosperous, healthy, and safe California rests upon residents making wise environmental choices essential to our quality of life. Together, we must address climate change and energy use, use of natural and renewable resources, and protection and enjoyment of our unparalleled natural areas…

Developing and implementing solutions to these challenges requires an environmentally literate populace that has the skills to understand, analyze, think critically about, and address existing and future environmental issues.” 

At the June meeting, there was a lot of energy around the public-private partnerships that are advancing the quality of public education through increasing access to Southern California's native habitat. We discussed many promising practices such as: removing asphalt and planting native shrubs, trees and wildflowers; collaborating with a park that is next to a school; building paths around school grounds; and figuring out field trip transportation needs. Finding ways to connect all communities to the environment, especially in low-income communities that are often starved for open space, is key to creating more healthy learning spaces for all our kids. At this meeting, we’ll discuss how we might take the successful local pilots we learned about in June to scale throughout Los Angeles and beyond. Together, we will learn how we as funders can be a part of the revolution around improving education through environmental literacy.

This meeting will take place at LAUSD’s Esperanza Elementary School, where participants will have an opportunity to explore their own urban habitat (to learn more, watch this video).

The SCG Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California as well as fostering collaboration and to share successes and challenges. Please contact Dave Sheldon at [email protected] for more information.

No cost to participate

Who May Attend
SCG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: register online (you must log in to your SCG account)

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.


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