Advancing Sustainability through the Arts
If you attended the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo, you may have noticed something a little unusual about two of the keynote speakers, Zaria Forman and Emmanuel Pratt. Both speakers share an artistic bent. When we think of sustainability and the environment, we typically don't envision the arts as playing a role in creating a sustainable future. However, the arts can be a familiar and approachable medium in which to explore and advocate for environmental and social equity. They can open doors for difficult conversations, like those around climate change, in ways that science, politics, and economics cannot. The arts also have the power to ground us in deeper meaning and purpose. They encourage us to view the world in new, less rational ways and open our minds to new possibilities.
This month, GreenNotes explored how schools and school districts are using the arts to teach students to be better stewards of the environment and their communities. Here's a roundup of the stories we posted from Discovery Elementary School, UrbanMathTrails, and EL Education.
Feature Articles
Art and Biomimicry Collide to Create Discovery Elementary School's "Nature's Hideout"

An outdoor classroom is the result of a design challenge that had Discovery Elementary School fifth-graders using design thinking to envision, prototype, and build their creation. 
Math Trails Reveal the Beauty of Numbers and Patterns in Nature

Take math outdoors! Learn how to design math trails that can increase student engagement and appreciation for math found in the natural world. 
Justice for All: Art is a Powerful Tool for Advocacy

Art created in the name of environmental and social justice can have a lasting impact. Discover four ways in which you can engage students in artistic acts of consequential service. 

The potential of peer leadership to engage teens in sustainability issues. Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine and originally authored by Alan Warner. 
GSNN Educator's Toolbox: Professional Development, Resources, Grants, and Awards for April

The latest professional development opportunities, resources, grants, and awards for April.  
Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly
Cracking the Cover: The School Campus as a 3D Textbook

From energy dashboards and green schoolyards to beekeeping and watershed health, school buildings and grounds offer unlimited opportunities to teach students core subjects through a lens of sustainability.  In the Spring 2019 Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, see how schools and districts across the country are turning classrooms inside out to expose students to real-world challenges without having to leave the school campus.

Carry the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly wherever you go! Get  the app from  iTunesGoogle Play, or Amazon  today.  

Write for GreenNotes
Our blog, GreenNotes, features articles that address one or more themes based on the core practices of GSNN's GreenPrint. Each month, the blog shines a spotlight on a specific topic related to green, healthy, and sustainable schools. A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

We are looking for contributors who are willing to share their experiences and best practices with the green schools community.

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Work with Green Schools National Network
Green Schools National Network's professional development and coaching services are designed to help schools and school districts adopt sustainability practices that align with their strategic goals. Our work is guided by the GreenPrintâ„¢ for Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Schools and its five core principles: curriculum, stewardship, facilities and operations, health and well-being, and leadership. Along with our professional development collaborative partners, we are positioned to help schools and school districts adopt a culture of sustainability that permeates every aspect of education: planning, policy development, program implementation, finances, curricula, teaching, learning, assessment, and administration.

During the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo earlier this month, GSNN's Catalyst Network Leaders convened to lay out a plan for professional development opportunities and regional site seminars over the next 12 months. These opportunities include a mix of in-person and virtual events, all intended to encourage hosts and attendees to grow and learn from each other.

One of the benefits offered to GSNN members is exclusive access to professional development opportunities offered by the Network, like the ones listed below. If you would like to partake in these events and others like them, visit our member webpage to learn about membership options or email GSNN's Membership Director at to learn more.

July 22 - 26, 2019: Science, Stewardship, and Storytelling: An Exploration of Place and Service-Learning; Conserve School, Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin

August 5 - 7, 2019: Integrated Curriculum and Mastery Projects for Elementary and Middle School Teachers ; Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School, Washington DC
September 23, 2019: Catalyst Network Best Practices Webinar - Energy; hosted by Whitefish School District (MT) and Environmental Charter Schools (CA)
October 17 - 18, 2019: Midwest Site Seminar at Prairie Crossing Charter School, Grayslake, Illinois
October 28, 2019: Catalyst Network Best Practices Webinar - Food Systems; hosted by Encinitas Union School District (CA) and Oak Park Unified School District (CA)
February 10, 2020: Catalyst Network Best Practices Webinar - School Culture; hosted by Zuni Public School District (NM) and Encinitas Union School District (CA)
Late March/Early April 2020 : East Site Seminar at Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Virginia
May 11, 2020: Catalyst Network Best Practices Webinar - CTE and Entrepreneurship; hosted by Whitefish School District (MT) and Carson City School District (NV)

Ready to get started?

Contact for more information on the range of professional services that Green Schools National Network has to offer schools and school districts.

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