EEI News: Spring Edition

Dear Educators,

The first day of spring has come during some very uncertain times this year, and many educators and students have turned to online instruction. We want to remind you that the EEI Curriculum is accessible online for free, and until the end of this school year students may access form-fillable workbooks and other materials directly from our website. Feel free to reach out to us at if you need support with your digital instruction and we’ll do our best to assist you. And, we are still fulfilling orders for hardcopies of the EEI Curriculum (for delivery to your home address) if you are compiling packets for your students. If you or someone you know still needs to complete training to qualify to order hardcopies of the EEI Curriculum, it has never been easier. The on-demand training only takes 15-minutes to complete!

The Office of Education and the Environment has compiled a list of some additional free environmental education resources that educators and students may retrieve online:

The Green Schoolyards America organization has compiled online materials for educators to guide students in outdoor activities. While these activities were designed for use on schoolyards, most of the activities can be used in students’ own backyards, neighborhoods, and other natural areas close to their homes. This collection of resources provides hands-on activities that lead students to a deeper understanding of the natural world.

The John Muir Laws Foundation offers a free downloadable PDF that provides teachers with the resources to guide students in Nature Journaling. This comprehensive how-to resource provides educators with a way to connect art, science, math, and critical thinking skills through guided Nature Journaling activities.

San Mateo County Office of Education has developed and curated some terrific resources for distance learning (and classroom-based learning) that focus on environmental literacy and sustainability. Topics include energy, waste, water, transportation, food, and land ecosystems. Resources include field research activities, guided on-line research activities, and self-directed learning tools.

The University of California Naturalist program has curated a comprehensive list of Distance Learning Resources catered to online and hybrid-learning curriculum and activities for a variety of learning levels. While the California Naturalist program is geared towards adult learners, many of these resources can be used with K-12 students.

The Plastic Pollution Virtual Film Series features 5 exceptional films designed to educate and inspire teachers and students on the problem of plastic pollution. Each film establishes potential solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. The series premieres on PBS throughout the month of April in honor of Earth Month.

EEI Program Updates

At this time, the Office of Education and the Environment is continuing to fulfill orders for hard copies of the EEI Curriculum. However, we are only shipping to residential addresses while schools are closed.

Award, Grant, and Contest Opportunities

National Geographic Grant Opportunities

As part of supporting a planet in balance, National Geographic offers Exploration grants that concentrate on certain key issues. Applicants may propose projects focused on conservation, education, research, storytelling, or technology with focus areas including, but not limited to wildlife, changing planet, and human journey.

Deadline: April 22, 2020

Award: $5,000-$10,000

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest; Climate Hope: Transforming Crisis

The global Ocean Awareness Contest is a platform for young people to learn about ocean issues through art-making and creative communication, and where teens can explore their relationship to a changing world and become advocates for environmental action. Students ages 11-18 are invited to participate. 

Deadline: June 15, 2020

Award: $100-$1,500

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

Annie’s Grants for Gardens program offers funding for edible garden projects that help connect to nutritious food. Grant can be used to purchase gardening tools, seeds, or other needed supplies for new gardens or to support existing garden projects.

Applications open: July 2020

Award: Up to $5,000

Captain Planet Foundation: ecoSolution Grants

ecoSolution™ Grants support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. ecoSoluton™ Grants range from $500-$2,500 and are available to educators working with youth in the United States to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change-agents. 

Deadline: July 15, 2020

Award: $500-$2,500

Education Resources

New: California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) Website

The California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI), led by the nonprofit Ten Strands, works statewide with guidance from a leadership council to create systems change in support of environmental literacy with a focus on access, equity, and cultural relevance for all students.

Environmental Literacy Compendium for the California H-SS Framework

This compendium contains selected sections from each grade level of the History-Social Science Framework that are particularly suited to the integration of the Environmental Principles and Concepts. Alongside these excerpts from the Framework are instructional suggestions designed to aid teachers as they infuse environmental instruction into their scope and sequence. There are also videos for each grade band.

California Department of Education Resources that Support Distance Learning

The California Department of Education has compiled a comprehensive list of online resources suited for distance learning. The list includes resources to foster online engagement, teaching tools, subject-specific resources, activities, and more.

Environmental Literacy News

#CalEarthDay50 Celebrations

As we all stay home to save lives, the California Environmental Protection Agency (the parent organization for EEI) wants Californians to see the important work that educators do every day to help save our planet. Share the ways the actions or inspirations that you do contribute to saving the planet by using the hashtags: #HowISavethePlanet and #WhyISavethePlanet

Youth Participatory Action Research: A Powerful Model for Youth Climate Literacy in PK-12 Classrooms

By: Kavita Gupta

March 9, 2020

Ten Strands

The Coronavirus, Animals, and Human Health

By: Shelley Brooks, Ph.D.

March 5, 2020

California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP)

The California History-Social Science Project’s 2019 Environmental Literacy Teacher Institutes: Hawks, History, and California’s EP&Cs

By: Shelley Brooks, Ph.D.

February 24, 2020

Ten Strands

Green Schoolyards: An Interview with Sharon Danks, Part 1

By: Lauren Iversen

February 6, 2020

Ten Strands

Green Schoolyards: An Interview with Sharon Danks, Part 2

By: Lauren Iversen

February 13. 2020

The Field

Environmental Literacy: A K-12 Experience

By: Michele Whiteaker

February 10, 2020

Ten Strands

Youth v. Government

By: Shelley Brooks Ph.D.

February 2, 2020

California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP)

Making Next Generation Science Standards Local

By Crystal Howe

January 27, 2020

Ten Strands

California Department of Education Supports Educators Teaching Next Generation Science Standards Through Engagement With Their Local Environment

By: Nathan Fairchild

January 7, 2020

Ten Strands



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