EcoRise, the school-based nonprofit organization inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all, and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club are joining forces to deliver a new program of leading-edge, student-driven sustainability curriculum, project mini-grants, and training to educators at no cost to teachers, schools, or school districts.
The three-year pilot, funded by Sun Club, will provide an estimated 50 K–12 teachers with professional development, curriculum, and resources focused on sustainability, innovation, and social entrepreneurship. Participating teachers will learn how to develop authentic learning experiences while fostering students’ leadership skills, critical thinking, and environmental literacy. They will also have access to a Student Innovation Program, which awards mini-grants to support student-led sustainability projects beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.
“We are excited to support EcoRise by providing the tools that teachers need to inspire students and jumpstart their journey to becoming future leaders in sustainability,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. “Sun Club is helping organizations that create impactful, long-term differences in our communities and training the next generation about sustainability is a great investment.”
“EcoRise is thrilled to work with the Sun Club to launch programming in the Houston area,” said Jonathan Stott, Deputy Director of EcoRise. “Green Mountain Energy Sun Club’s investment in this project demonstrates a deep commitment to activating the next generation of sustainability leaders. We can’t wait to see the projects that students design.”
The collaboration between EcoRise and Sun Club is expected to directly impact an estimated 2,800 students and indirectly reach as many as 22,000 students and community members through the extended reach of student-led sustainability projects.
EcoRise will recruit schools and educators through the spring and hold in-person training and professional development during the summer. Teachers will be able to implement the curriculum and submit funding requests for student projects starting in the 2018-19 school year.
Teachers interested in learning more about how to register for the no cost pilot program can visit ecorise.org/enroll for more information on how to apply.
“EcoRise is a pioneer for sustainability education,” said fourth grade teacher Kate Hoffner, Austin ISD. “This is what we need to make significant impact on our one and only Earth. Their curriculum and support engages our young future leaders toward actual progress for a cleaner and healthier community. It also aligns perfectly with the rigorous curriculum and teaching standards of Texas.”
“The EcoRise classes are generating tons of ideas, and students are doing real world science,” said secondary science facilitator, Anna Wydeven, Leander ISD. “Our lead EcoRise teacher Shannon McPherson has led students to learn things they never expected to learn, and think differently about environmental impact. Risk-taking, the team dynamic, and professionalism run deep here.”