Dream in Green (DIG) launched The Dream in Green Academy ® (The Academy) during the 2015-2016 academic year due to concerns about overwhelming teachers with too many independent programs. The Academy provides a platform that promotes collaboration between community organizations for the introduction of environmental education programming at K-12 schools. The concept of The Academy emerged through the realization that a vast number of environmental non-profits and nature centers in Miami-Dade County aspire to reach K-12 students. It was common to find our participating ‘green’ schools enrolled in three to five programs relating to different environmental topics and the same teacher champions spearheading all programs.
We thought, why not work together, in a collaborative way, with other organizations in order to reduce the burden on teachers and reach a higher number of youth in a more coordinated way? With ten years of experience in ‘greening’ schools, Dream in Green packages key services such as recruiting schools, providing professional development workshops and grant funding, developing program resources and evaluation surveys as well as an end-of year awards ceremony. These services are needed in facilitating program implementation and ensuring effective programming for organizations wishing to reach K-12 schools. Moreover, we want to continue providing technical assistance to partner organizations in order to help them transform their programs and activities into a ‘challenge.’ The challenges are guided by a point system that is fed by completing fun and engaging monthly activities and allow students to compete against each other to promote environmentally responsible actions.
The Academy was built on the success of the Green Schools Challenge (GSC), DIG’s flagship program that serves as the entry level program in which participants learn the basics of sustainability and build the foundation for a ‘green’ school. We leverage the program’s established framework for delivering educational programming to ensure all programs that are implemented through The Academy have an impact on water and energy savings at the schools. For two consecutive years, DIG has partnered with the Coral Gables Museum to implement its Green City Challenge, which is the ‘graduate’ level program for schools enrolled in The Academy and focuses on environmentally sustainable design as it pertains to architecture and urban planning.
For the next academic year (September 2017 through June 2018), we are looking for one more program partner that would like to have access to our services and technical expertise as well as offer a new challenge for our ‘green’ schools. If you are interested, please contact us to learn more about our proposed plan and timeline for 2017-2018.
Mabel Rodriguez – gro.neergnimaerdnull@lebam | 786-574-4909