Environmental Literacy

“Environmental Literacy Project for Vermont”

This project is being hosted by Vermont’s State -Wide Environmental Education Program Alliance (SWEEP) and the Four Winds Nature Institute.

Environmental Literacy Definitions

The Goal of environmental education is to create an environmentally literate citizenry.

The North American Association of environmental educators (NAAEE) organizes this goal under four themes that are paraphrased as follows:

An understanding of the earth as a physical system and a living environment, as well as humans and their societies within the landscape
A familiarity with some basic modes of enquiry, creative thinking, and an ability to interpret and synthesize information.
An understanding of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in order to participate in resolving issues
Motivation and empowerment to act, understanding that what people do as individuals and groups can make a difference.

I have participated in one of 14 meetings covering the state this past winter. This gave me an opportunity to be a part of  a state wide conversation;  participants shared successful environmental efforts from businesses and organizations which will be used to identify existing needs and opportunities to increase environmental literacy in Vermont

One of the project’s goals is to gather information about model environmental initiatives that are presently in progress in Vermont. The process also will result in the creation of a roadmap to environmental literacy for Vermont and will help inform a preK-12 plan that meets the requirements of the Federal legislation, no child left behind inside act (NCLI) of 2009.
The roadmap will also highlight unique grassroots projects that can easily be replicated in other businesses or communities

By creating a community based, comprehensive and strategic environmental literacy action plan beyond the K-12 education system to include all ages and sectors of the community. Vermont will lead the way nationally and serve as a model for the other  states.

A conference is planned to present progress on this project at the New England Environmental Education Association (NEEEA) conference Oct 22nd 2010 at the Lake Morey Resort, in Fairlee VT

For further information go to    www.environmentalliteracyvt.org