Earlier this month several local area teachers, including three from the Harrison School District, took time away from their summer vacations to dive into a topic of growing importance in many classrooms: sustainability and how best to teach it.
Harrison High School teachers Josie Cain and Diane Frawley, as well as Ely Perry of Louis M. Klein Middle School, joined more than twenty other educators at the 2012 CELF Summer Institute, an intensive 4-day teacher training workshop that took place in mid-July at .
Designed to help educators seamlessly integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) practices into existing curriculum across all subject areas, the professional development workshop is one of many programs developed and run by Chappaqua-based Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF). This year’s Institute marked CELF’s 15th such workshop to date. Earlier this summer CELF kicked off a specialized EfS curriculum-training program for New York City’s public schools, having been tapped by the New York City Department of Education as a leading authority on the subject.
According to CELF’s Executive Director Katie Ginsberg, the goal of the Institute is for every participant to “walk away not only with a better understanding of how to teach sustainability and systems concepts, but also with a set of relevant and exciting lesson plan ideas for immediate implementation.”
Harrison High School teacher Diane Frawley commented on the workshop stating, “I gained a better personal and global perspective in sustainability.” She also said she found a presenter’s clear demonstration of how sustainability fit into a specific chemistry class’ curriculum extremely helpful.
Joining the Harrison teachers at the Institute were a wide variety of private and public schools from the Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT regions including: Harrison High School and Louis M. Klein Middle School (N.Y.), Hastings High School (N.Y.), Rippowam Cisqua in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., Pleasantville Middle School (N.Y.), the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., Greenwich Country Day School (C.T.), three schools in the Danbury Public School District (C.T.) and two New York City area schools. Additionally, for the first time the program included international participation, with the enrollment of an academic supervisor from a United Arab Emirates private school.
Generously funded by corporations, private foundations and individual donors, the Institute has provided professional development and curriculum design support for hundreds of teachers over the past eight years. Con Edison is a longtime advocate of CELF, as is Praxair, who provided full scholarships for teachers from Danbury, C.T. public schools.
For more information about CELF or the CELF Summer Institute, go to www.celfeducation.org.