The Green Schools Academy – the Idea

By Karla Utting

This year marks the 10th year anniversary of Dream in Green (DIG) and its Green Schools Challenge (GSC) program. As an environmental education non-profit, a key aspect of DIG is to work non-competitively at building partnerships with other community organizations in order to ‘spread the word’ about environmental and community sustainability.

Recently, environmental organizations have expressed interest or have begun to reach school children through education programs. The teachers targeted or interested in the additional programs are primarily those already participating in the GSC and/or other existing programs.  In order to encourage participation as well as not overwhelm already over-extended teachers, DIG has set out to work collaboratively with interested organizations to coordinate environmental education at schools.

In response, and in order to ensure environmental messaging is reaching all South Florida students, DIG is proposing to create the Green Schools Academy (Academy). The Academy will engage students, teachers, and parents in a meaningful way to combat climate change through action at their schools, homes and communities. Administered by DIG, the Academy will provide the space and infrastructure required for all environmental education programs for K-12 schools to be implemented. Key services provided by the Academy will include:

  • Recruitment of Schools
  • Development of the Resource Manual/Guidebook
  • Program Training Video
  • Professional Development Training Workshop for teachers, including Master Plan points
  • Score Tracking spreadsheets
  • Mid-Year Meeting
  • Awards Ceremony

If support is received and Academy is implemented, green schools participating in the GSC for three or more years will have the option of ‘graduating’ and engaging with other environmental programs.

DIG is currently looking for partners and sponsors to support the Green Schools Academy.  For more information about the Academy, contact Karla Utting, Executive Director, karla@dreamingreen.org