August 1, 2021 – Miami, FL – Dream in Green is excited to celebrate its 15th Anniversary with the kickoff of the 2021-2022 Green Schools Challenge! Dream in Green was originally founded by 3 lawyers that saw the opportunity of classrooms to promote sustainability and mold the next generation of environmental stewards.
This past year has been an unprecedented one that has disrupted normal life on a global scale. Through it all our teachers have persevered and shown their commitment to their students and our program by continuing their lessons virtually. We could not have completed the year without recognizing them, their students and the administrators that have continue to lead with extraordinary commitment to quality education. We thank them all for their dedication, passion and perseverance during a challenging time as we look ahead to celebrate our 15th year.
“After delivering the Green Schools Challenge program since 2006, I remain most inspired by the accomplishments of the students who participated in the program of the years. Some have gone on to pursue careers in science and sustainability and this is exactly what the Green Schools Challenge program set out to accomplish—to mold the next generation of leaders who will combat climate change and safeguard our planet” Nick Gunia, founder and Board member.
Over the years Dream in Green has been honored to partner, connect and work with outstanding organizations and municipalities both at the local, national and even international level. DIG continues to be an official partner of Miami-Dade County Public School District, a relationship that has allowed the Green Schools Challenge to grow from its original 3 school pilot program to now serving over 110 schools annually. In the past few years, the Green Schools Challenge has seen the expansion of its program beyond the borders of Miami-Dade County to Broward and Monroe Counties, echoing the need in all of South Florida.
“I am so proud of the work that Dream in Green has accomplished over the years to empower the youth and our communities with environmental education and programs. I look forward to many more years of successful impact“ Jesse Rittenhouse, Board Chair.
Support from the community, funders and stakeholders has allowed Dream in Green to go beyond offering a single program. In 2013, through a partnership between Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience and funding through the Environmental Protection Agency, the WE-LAB (Water and Energy, Learning and Behavior) program was born. WE-LAB provides free, relevant and up to date information on the water-energy nexus, along with the importance of the conservation of water and energy and recycling properly with the goal of decreasing the pressures on our local natural resources and of our greenhouse gas emissions. Free hour-long workshops continue to be provided to the community, even virtually now, so residents have the tools to make more informed behavioral decisions that will have positive long lasting environmental impacts.
To date, the programs have served over 100,000 individuals. Both the Green Schools Challenge and WE-LAB programs meet the needs of our community by providing content knowledge and opportunities to engage in problem solving. The organization’s ultimate vision is increase environmental stewardship and sustainability in South Florida.
“One of the positive changes I observed in my students is their awareness on their environment. I listen to them discussing solutions on the environmental problems they are able to control. They talk about using recycle bags instead of plastic and educating their family about the harm plastics causes to their neighborhood living organisms. They also understand the many factors that causes global warming and that they can make a change by simply exercising what they learned in the Green Schools challenge” Mabel Martinez, Richmond Heights Middle School educator.
Dream in Green’s hard work continues to be recognized as recipients of awards, by both staff and the organization as a whole, from the United States Green Building Council and our methods disseminated across the country as staff presents at national conferences. We are honored that our hard work and proven methods continue to inspire others including educators and students alike.
To help support Dream in Green and our efforts in South Florida please contact Barbara Martinez-Guerrero, Dream in Green’s Executive Director at gro.neergnimaerdnull@arabrab.