Expanding the Definition of Literacy to Educate for Sustainability
 
What does it mean to be "literate"? In the past when you heard the word "literacy" your first thought likely involved books and reading. However, the definition of literacy is changing as how we process information and the world around us is evolving rapidly. Digital literacy, for example, is needed to help students and young adults navigate the vast amount of information on the Internet and determine what's fact and what's fiction. Science literacy is needed to understand "how the world works," make hypotheses, and devise solutions to challenges encountered in a wide array of fields, from health care to engineering. Environmental and sustainability literacy is needed to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to create the future we want - one with economic opportunity for all, a fair and just society, thriving ecosystems, and healthy human and more than human populations.
 
This month, GreenNotes looked at some of the ways that educators are using literacy to deepen students' understanding of sustainability and engage them in meaningful learning experiences to address environmental and sustainability issues. Here's a roundup of stories we posted from Environmental Charter Schools, Forwood Elementary School, EcoRise, and EL Education.
Feature Articles


Fostering Environmental Literacy at Environmental Charter Schools




Fostering Sustainable Intelligence through Hands-On Environmental Literacy Strategies in Austin Independent Schools





How to Design a Literacy Curriculum that Turns Curiosity into Understanding and Helps Kids Save the Environment




Sustainability Education Provides Authentic Learning Experiences in Science and Writing




Rooting Readers in the Literary Garden

Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine. 
Learn with Green Schools National Network
Green Schools National Network's (GSNN) 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.

GSNN is offering two summer professional development seminars that are open to all school leaders and educators, not just Catalyst Network members and GSNN members. Check out the information below for both seminars and sign up soon! We expect these seminars to fill up fast.


Science, Stewardship, and Storytelling: An Exploration of Place and Service-Learning
 
Who:  Middle and High School Teachers and Students
When:  July 22 - July 26, 2019
Where:  Conserve School, Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin
Cost:  Catalyst Members: $275.00 / 4 Students Free 
          GSNN Members: $375.00 / 4 Students Free 
          Non-Members: $475.00 / 4 Students Free
Registration Deadline:  July 5, 2019
 
 
Green Schools National Network and  Conserve School invite you and your students to a week of service and learning in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Throughout the week, participants will explore our relationship with the land and how it has evolved over time. We will investigate Science, Stewardship, and Storytelling through Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Climate Change, and invasive species removal. Finally, no summer escape to Conserve School would be complete without a chance to connect with the campus' 1,200 acres of lakes, woods, and meadows through swimming, canoeing, forest bathing, hammocking, or just relaxing on the beach with a good book. The week is designed so that educators may come by themselves or bring a group of students. There will be a mix of full group activities and opportunities for students and adults to go their separate ways. The outcome for teachers and students will be a curriculum plan for translating what they learn in the Northwoods to their home communities.


Food for Thought
 
Who:  Elementary School Teachers
When: August 13 - 15, 2019
Where: Discovery Elementary School, Arlington, Virginia
Cost: Catalyst Network Members: $75.00
          GSNN Members: $375.00
          Non-Members: $475.00
 
 
This education for sustainability seminar will use food production systems as an integrated inquiry for elementary school teachers. Health, science, engineering, math, social studies, and art come to life when we understand how the food we eat, where it comes from, and our role in growing it influences our health, cognitive functioning, and our relationship with and understanding of the natural world. In addition to creating an integrated balanced literacy/STEM unit plan, participants will design aquaponic and hydroponic growing environments for their classrooms.
Green Schools National Network | in fo@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org