California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Central Coast Region 8 Newsletter 
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Kern County
December 2016  

2016 - A Year of Accelerated Momentum for Environmental Literacy   
It's almost the end of the year-and what an exciting one it has been for all partners in environmental education in California! Teachers are embracing environmental literacy in thousands of schools throughout California, and the momentum continues. The conditions are "just right" to embed environmental literacy into California's education system.
Environmental literacy is being infused into the core subjects of science, history-social science, and English language arts. Students taught these subjects through an environmental lens are feeling engaged in their learning both inside and outside the classroom. They are learning how we are intertwined with nature, not separate from it, and that everything we do impacts our environment.
One of the partners of the CREEC Network is Ten Strands. They help the CREEC Network and the California Department of Education to implement the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy and the EEI curriculum. You can read the full article from Ten Strands here:  Accelerated Momentum for Environmental Literacy

Happy Holidays from all of us here at the CREEC Network!
May 2017 be filled with incredible environmental education for our children!

- Teresa Tree Lees, CREEC Coordinator, Region 8

Student Contests to start off 2017 
Here are just a few contests to start off the year with. To discover more go to the CREEC Network  Student Contests

California Coastal Art & Poetry Contest

California students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit artwork or poetry with a California coastal or marine theme to the Coastal Commission's annual Coastal Art & Poetry Contest. Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2017. For rules and entry form, the contest flyer, and helpful links for teachers and students, visit or email 
Up to ten winners will be selected to win $100 gift certificates to an art supply store (for artists) or book store (for poets). Each winner's sponsoring teacher will receive a $50 gift certificate for educational supplies from the Acorn Naturalists catalog. Winners and honorable mentions will have their work featured on the Coastal Commission website and will be exhibited throughout the state. They will also receive family tickets to visit Aquarium of the Pacific.  

Bakersfield High School Students win state competition and win a trip to Kenya

Two Project Lead the Way (PLTW) students and an instructor from North High School in Bakersfield (NHS) in Kern County are preparing to take a very impressive field trip and make an international splash for their work in renewable energy.

The remarkable students are in a PLTW sponsored Civil Engineering and Architecture classroom at NHS. They were chosen in a statewide competition by Pacific Gas and Electric Company for an all-expense paid service learning trip to deliver clean, renewable energy to communities in Kenya as part of PG&E's Better Together Classroom Grants.

Carton 2 Garden Contest

Evergreen Packaging and are proud to present our third annual national Carton 2 Garden™ Contest!  Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons.

Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria. After gathering cartons, it's time to design and construct purposeful garden items and structures using them. Your school will have the chance to win one of 14 prizes, up to $5,000!

Local Events

1/10 & 11/2017
The Kern County Water Agency's Improvement District No. 4 and Bakersfield City School District invite you to kick-off the New Year with a FREE Project WET workshop, featuring classroom-proven, hands-on learning activities that make water topics come alive for students. Our workshop models activities that are practical for teachers, yet also engages student interdisciplinary critical thinking skills that are at the core of CCSS and NGSS. To pre-register for the workshop or for more information, call (661) 634-1424 or email


An EEI Teacher Ambassador will demonstrate lessons from EEI Curriculum units. All participating teachers will receive teacher and student materials of the subject, topic, and grade of their choice. These units help students to be better informed when they make choices that affect their own health and the future of a healthy environment. Download flyer on the blue link above.

1/25/ 2017
Chris Liske from CalRecycle and Teresa Lees from CREEC Network will lead a teacher workshop on the EEI curriculum to be held after school for the Santa Maria Bonita Unified School District. See all upcoming EEI in-person trainings on the blue link above.
Come and connect with other committed professionals, reconnect with your sense of play, and join the fun in the Outdoor Classrooms of the Child Education Center's Outdoor Classroom model program. Share in the experience that has inspired and benefited nearly 4,500 teachers from over 900 centers. Link to website on the blue link above.


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding Resources
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

In Region 8, CREEC is housed and supported by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Teresa Tree Lees,


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