"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."  -- Martin Luther King Jr.

January 2015

Dear Educators,

Welcome to 2015!  January is the time for NEW: new ideas, new projects, and new events. For starters, our Green Classroom Certification team is back in full force after the holidays and ready to get NEW classrooms certified.

While you're penciling in MLK Day events, registering for conferences, and writing up grant opportunities, don't forget to schedule your Green Classroom Certification Workshop - a new way to meet your state standards with relevant, hands-on activities. Try something new, we dare you.

  • January 19th - Martin Luther King Jr Day
MLK Day is a day to honor and serve others. The Sustainable Schools team will be creating recycled paper notes and artwork with classrooms in Whatcom County to donate to local community centers. What will you do? How about improving salmon habitat in Whatcom County with NSEA or attending the MLK Human Rights Conference put on by the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force? 

  • Grant opportunities for you and your classroom
The beginning of the year marks the opening (and closing!) of many terrific educational grants. Whether you want to acquire new materials for your Green Classroom action project, fund the school-wide project of your PTA's dreams, or learn how to navigate the new digital world of teaching - there's something for all of your passions. Need help writing the grant? No problem. The Sustainable Schools team would love to help you complete the application, contact us today.

  • Fairs, conferences, and date nights - oh my!
Scroll down for January events and opportunities. 

January's Highlight - Energy Consumption

We understand the January blues - cranking up the thermostat, driving to places you would normally bike or walk to, leaving lights on to combat the winter darkness.... but this is the best time of year to conserve energy. 33% of the energy we're using now comes from one of the dirtiest coal plants in the nation. Let's turn up our conservation when it counts the most. Here are some simple steps we can take together: 

          • Turn down the thermostat when you're out of your classroom;
          • Leave your blinds and/or curtains open during the day to allow sunlight to naturally warm the room;
          • Make sure your windows are shut tight and don't have any drafts using this quick guide, and report any leaks to your buildings manager;
          • Did you know lighting accounts for nearly half of the electric bill in most schools? Try assigning a student to be the "Energy Saver" in charge of turning off the lights when they aren't needed.


Sign up for the Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Workshop for more ideas. 


Grant Opportunitiesgrants


Have a great idea for an Action Project? Need some materials to complete an amazing lab experiment?Apply for one of these grants and take your teaching methods to a new level. Never applied for a grant? Contact the Sustainable Schools team; we'd love to help you complete the application!

Start a Project

Deadline: January 31
Amount: $500-$2,500
Details: Captain Planet grants are made for activities that conform to the mission of the Captain Planet Foundation - to inspire youth to participate in environmental stewardship and community service  through hands-on opportunities. The activity must be project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes. 

Deadline: February 13
Amount: $2,000-$5,000
Does your classroom want to complete a large project that will benefit the whole school community? You and your PTA may be eligible to apply for the Lowe's Education Grant. Pick a project that meets your schools needs and your parent group's mission and complete your project in the next year!

Apply: February 14 to April 30
Amount: $100-$500
Details: Select a project you'd like to conduct in your classroom from more than 1,000 Winning Project Ideas on Elmer's website. Awards are based on financial need, determined by the percentage of the schools' students enrolled in the federal free and reduced lunch program, and if the selected project meets the educational needs of the students.  Special consideration for first-year teachers.

New Materials and Skills

Deadline: February 11
Details: Acceptance into this program offers access to exclusive virtual training and resources; exposure to innovative instructional strategies, best practices, and tools that can be immediately applied to the classroom; national recognition in press and marketing communications; and membership into a robust professional learning community. Top contenders will also be invited to an all-expense paid 3-day conference to Philadelphia this summer.

Deadline: March 1st
Amount: $500
Details: Have a great Action Project in mind but don't have the materials to complete it? This classroom grant can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, and lab materials. 

Upcoming Events & Opportunities
Salish Sea Community Science Fairsalsih
Sunday, January 25th
2 PM - 5 PM
Free for All
Bellingham High School Commons, Bellingham (map)

Discover more about the community organizations supporting the Salish Sea. One of the displays will highlight RE Sources work in our community and possible opportunities for citizen engagement. Make sure you're there in time for the 3:30 showing of "The Whale", a film about a local resident killer whale who was separated from his pod and lived in Nootka Sound. Donations will be accepted to help fund an Oceans capstone field trip to Lime Kiln Park and the Whale Museum for 4th graders in Bellingham.

Kids Night Out @ Western (KNOW)know
Friday, January 23rd
7PM - 10PM
Western Washington University, SMATE (map)

Enjoy a well-deserved date night while your kids (grades 3-5) explore hands-on science activities and enjoy time in the pool at Western. Sign up for the two remaining nights and plan something special. 

Storming the Soundsts
Thursday, January 29th
9 AM - 4 PM
Maple Hall, La Conner (map)

Join educators in the north Puget Sound area with an interest in environmental education to connect, share information, and discover local resources. Substitute teacher reimbursement may still be available. Read more.

Let Us Come to You
Schedule a brief info session for your next staff, PTA, or teacher meeting to gain a better understanding of how you, your students, and your school community can take the next step in greener education. Contact us at schools@re-sources.org or call (360) 733-8307 to set up a presentation today.

GCCAbout Green Classroom Certification

A FREE program to help teachers integrate conservation education into curriculum and initiate positive action in the classroom.  Read more. 

The Steps
We'll walk you through each step of the program to ensure you have all the support you need to be effective and have fun. The four simple steps should only take about 1 month to complete.
    1. Host a Workshop
    2. Make a Pledge
    3. Complete an Action Projectactionproject
    4. Receive your Certificate!

The Benefits

Each workshop is grade level appropriate, engages the students, and encourages direct involvement and initiative in their own learning.

  • Zero cost
  • Minimal time commitment for teachers
  • Meets current state academic standards in Common Core ELA, Washington EALRS, and Next Generation Science
  • Receive 10 hours of free support from our Green Classroom Coordinator

The Topics
Each workshop includes the introduction and discussion of current environmental issues and encourages action through brainstorming possible solutions. See how each of our workshops can help you meet Common Core and Science Standards for your classroom.

Contact us to get started today. 

Kudos to our Current Participants!

Great job, teachers! Our hats off to you...

Linda Young's 2nd Grade Class at Geneva Elementary, Waste Reduction
Patty Keene's 3rd Grade Class at Wade King Elementary, Waste Reduction
Kathy Lorson-Howell's 2nd Grade Class at Geneva Elementary, Waste Reduction
Julia Ritchie's 2nd Grade Class at Geneva Elementary, Waste Reduction
Mike D'Hondt's 5th Grade Class at Happy Valley Elementary, Waste Reduction
Brooke Wertz' 5th Grade Class at Happy Valley Elementary, Waste Reduction
Marca Kidwell-Babcock's 3rd Grade Class at Parkview Elementary, Water Conservation
Jill Cofer's 3rd Grade Class at Parkview Elementary, Water Conservation
Ben Scherrer's 3rd Grade Class at Carl Cozier Elementary, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
David Barrett's 4th Grade Class at Carl Cozier Elementary, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Liane Koester's 3rd Grade Class at Lowell Elementary, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Susan Kelley's 1st Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Waste Reduction
Michelle Brooks' 1st Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Waste Reduction
Kim Fredere's 1st Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Waste Reduction
Bette Mitchell's 4th Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Water Conservation
Julie Harrison's 4th Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Water Conservation
Justine Munoz's 4th Grade Class at Kendall Elementary, Water Conservation 

Sustainable Schools Team is brought to you by


OUR VISION People in northwestern Washington living satisfying lives in accord with the ecosystem we depend on - generation after generation.

OUR MISSION  Protect, Activate, Innovate, Thrive

RE Sources promotes sustainable communities and protects the health of northwestern Washington' people and ecosystems through application of science, education, advocacy and action.
2309 Meridian St, Bellingham, WA 98225  |  (360) 733.8307  |  re-sources.org