Smart Schools
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Montana Department of Environmental Quality

The SMART Schools Challenge is a friendly competition to help Montana's K-12 public schools save money and resources. Schools across Montana compete to see who can save the most money and resources by conserving energy, recycling waste, and implementing green practices that benefit student health. At the Challenge’s conclusion, the top twelve performing schools are rewarded. Four champion schools are selected in each of the three sub-challenges. These winners become certified Montana SMART Schools, receive a $1,000 prize, and statewide recognition from the Lieutenant Governor.

Food Matters Action Kit
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Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Youth can make a positive difference to prevent food waste, from small initiatives at home to more ambitious efforts that involve the whole community, by using the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s (CEC) new Food Matters Action Kit. Preventing food waste is one of the easiest ways we can all protect our environment every day, fight climate change, and help save our planet. Download the Food Matters Action Kit in English, French, or Spanish.

Climate Action Advocacy Resources
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Schools for Climate Action

Schools for Climate Action is a non-partisan, grassroots, youth-adult campaign with a mission to empower schools to speak up for climate action in order to protect current and future generations.

Schools for Climate Action helps school boards, student councils, PTA's, teachers' unions, and school support organizations to pass resolutions that do three things:

Drive a paradigm shift so people recognize climate change as a generational justice issue.
Clearly articulate the political will for all elected leaders, especially Members of Congress, to support or enact common-sense climate policies (such as national carbon pricing, 100 percent clean energy policies, green infrastructure investments, and just transition plans).
Celebrate and expand school district responses to climate change.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize
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Water Environment Federation

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) was founded in 1997 by the Stockholm International Water Institute to complement the Stockholm Water Prize. The SJWP is considered the world’s most prestigious award presented to a high school student for a water-research project. Any high school student in grades 9 through 12, who has reached the age of 15 by August 1 of the competition year and has conducted a water-related science project, is eligible to participate in the competition.

Teams of up to three students may enter. Projects should be aimed at enhancing the quality of life through improvement of water quality, water resources management, or water and wastewater treatment. Projects can explore water issues on local, regional, national, or global issues. It is essential that all projects use a research-oriented approach, which means they must use scientifically accepted methodologies for experimentation, monitoring, and reporting, including statistical analysis. Entries into the SJWP competition will be judged based on six criteria: relevance, creativity, methodology, subject knowledge, practical skills, and report and presentation.

Note: All students must enter the State SJWP Competition first. National competition entries are open to State winners only.

President’s Environmental Youth Award
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.

Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to EPA for consideration. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:

  • restoring native habitats
  • recycling in schools and communities
  • construction of nature preserves
  • tree planting
  • installing renewable energy projects
  • creating videos, skits, and newsletters that focused on environmental issues
  • participating in many other creative sustainability efforts

PEYA has two parts — a regional award for Grades K-5 and a regional award for Grades 6-12. Each award-winning project will receive a Presidential plaque. All qualified applicants will receive a certificate honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment.

ecoTech Grants
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Captain Planet Foundation

Originally developed in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and with ongoing support from Voya Financial, ecoTech Grants are specifically offered to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. ecoTech Grants were created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. ecoTECH grant projects must: •Be based in the U.S. •Integrate the use of technology to address environmental problems (not iPads or other tablets) •Be project-based •Be youth-led •Result in real, demonstrable environmental outcomes ecoTECH grants are available as cash grants of up to $2,500 and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses.

ecoSolution Grants
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Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation’s ecoSolution Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of the organization’s work over the last 25 years. The Foundation has funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling its mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change agents. ecoSolution Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions and to fill out an application.

Resources and Trainings for Educators
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Youth Service America

Founded in 1986, Youth Service America (YSA) supports a global culture of engaged children and youth committed to a lifetime of meaningful service, learning, and leadership. With half the world’s population under age 25, YSA’s mission is to help all young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. In 2016, YSA began to focus its assets and outcomes on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Through YSA’s programs, youth lead community change through:

  • Awareness – educating others to change behaviors
  • Service – using their passion, creativity, and idealism to solve problems through volunteerism
  • Advocacy – to change policies and laws
  • Philanthropy – generating and donating financial and in-kind support

YSA’s Learning Center has resources and trainings for educators, and the website’s Take Action tab provides ideas for service broken out by cause, audience, and YSA Programs.

Training and Tools for Educators
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NatureBridge

NatureBridge provides hands-on, inquiry-based programs for children and teens at national park locations across the country. The organization’s website includes an educators webpage that offers classroom resources organized around five areas of study; tips and resources for incorporating nature into classroom lessons; and professional development workshops that provide skills to create hands-on science and environmental education curricula for students.

Introduction to Sustainability
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Creative Change

Creative Change is a national educational consulting firm based in southeast Michigan. Districts and universities turn to us when their curriculum isn’t working – when achievement is low, inequalities persist, or it’s time for fresh thinking. We provide professional development, curriculum, and consulting to help educators across grades and disciplines reframe instruction around sustainability and social justice.

Our work integrates project- and place-based learning and culturally responsive instruction. Topics include food systems, ecological economics, and multiculturalism. Evaluations show consistent gains in student achievement, especially in underserved communities. Grounded in scholarship, our approach was published by Routledge in August 2018.

Creative Change offers:

  • On-site and hybrid professional development combining interdisciplinary content and effective pedagogy.
  • Ongoing support and one-on-one coaching for educators.
  • A curriculum library featuring exemplary lessons, frameworks, and complete course modules.

Free Online Course

Introduction to Sustainability

Learning about sustainability is easier than ever thanks to “Introduction to Sustainability,” a free online course developed by Kappa Delta Pi in partnership with Creative Change Educational Solutions. The self-paced course introduces sustainability as a context for learning, highlights connections across grades and disciplines, and provides strategies for reframing curriculum to emphasize these connections. With activities, videos, discussions, off-line projects, and guided curriculum design, the course engages adult learners in an integrative and reflective learning experience that emphasizes practical applications. The course is based upon (and

Professional Development Opportunities
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Community Works Institute

Community Works Institute (CWI) supports and promotes exemplary teaching strategies and practices for K-16 educators and community programs that support students in becoming caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. CWI offers a variety of professional development opportunities for K-16 and community-based educators in the United States and internationally, including on-site training, retreats, coaching, and consulting. Their signature offering is a series of summer institutes that integrate field-tested service-learning best practices and principles of sustainability to engage K-16 students in academically based service that contributes to sustainable communities.

AskNature
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Biomimicry Institute

The Biomimicry Institute is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to innovation inspired by nature. Biomimicry offers an exciting project-based approach that helps teachers blend STEM and environmental education in creative, hands-on lessons students love. The Biomimicry Institute helps educators and organizations bring biomimicry into their teaching by providing curriculum and training, networking opportunities, and content development support. Learn more about our services and visit the online library, AskNature, for the resources and information you need to bring biomimicry into your teaching practice.

Fayette County Public Schools E=USE^2 Report
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Fayette County Public Schools

"E=USE^2 = Education Leads to Understanding Sustainability, Energy and the Environment

This plan was created to empower students to create change through enduring improved sustainability by equipping school and community stakeholders with the tools and knowledge to preserve our natural and fiscal resources.

San Antonio ISD Buildings, Grounds, and Equipment Management
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San Antonio Independent School District

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that every effort is made in the District to conserve energy and natural resources, as well as to reduce the costs assoicated with the consumption of these resources.

Virginia Beach Emissions Reduction Plan
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Virginia Beach City Public Schools

In 2011, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) published its first Greenhouse Gas Inventory. In an effort to understand and reveal the magnitude of various emission sources within the operational control of VBCPS, this inventory catalogued emissions from calendar years 2006-2010, and was analyzed from a variety of perspectives. This Emissions Reduction Plan is the next step in the effort to reduce the Division's emissions to zero.

NYC Board of Education Resolution
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NYC Board of Education

Resolution calling upon New York State Department of Education to include lessons on climate change in K-12 schools' curriculum.

Horry County Schools Energy Management Checklist for Unoccupied Buildings
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Horry County Schools

A guide for energy savings during the summer and other off-periods during the school year.

National Youth Gardening Symposium
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American Horticultural Society

Every year, the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium brings together ducators, landscape architects and desingers, staff at botanic gardens, non-profits, and mroe from around the country who are all working to egange children with gardens and the natural world that surrounds them.

School Health Publications
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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

The NACDD website offers a variety of resources to improve school health and well-being. Included are toolkits, policy outlines, and model programs.

International Society of Sustainability Professionals
/resource/international-society-sustainability-professionals
International Society of Sustainability Professionals

Empowering professionals to advance sustainability in organizations and communities around the globe. The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world's leading professional association of sustainability professionals.

Landscape Architecture Case Study Briefs
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Landscape Architecture Foundation

The Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs are a searchable database of over 100 exemplary built projects with quantified environmental, economic and social benefits.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools Sustainable Purchasing Best Practices Guide
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Virginia Beach City Public Schools

This guide from Virginia Beach City Public Schools aims to manage the procurement of essential goods and services by developing and maintaining the most efficient, cost-effective processes.

District of Columbia Public Schools Green Purchasing Guide
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District of Columbia Public Schools

DC public schools are committed to procuring quality goods and services in a timely manner and reasonable cost to support sustainability goals.

Job Description: Sustainability Program Specialist
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Sante Fe Public Schools

The Sustainability Specialist focuses on collaborating, developing, and implementing the District Sustainability Plan as well as energy efficiency and waste management projects.

Job Description: Director of Energy & Sustainability
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Detroit Public Schools

Sample job description for a Director of Sustainability position. The Director manages sustainability programs and assesses impact while balancing district objectives.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
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Virginia Beach City Public Schools

This report summarizes the process used to develop the green house gas inventory, reports on the findings of the inventory, and outline the next steps for VBCPS to take on their path to carbon neutrality.

School Board Advocacy Toolkit
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USGBC: Center for Green Schools

Use this document as a reference guide when you want to approach your local school baord about a school sustainability issue. It's formatted to follow basic steps you might take in an advocacy effort.