Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network Is Leading the Charge for Global Environmental and Climate Literacy

By Karena Mary Ruggiero, PhD, Director of Education

With the reality of a changing climate, the need for comprehensive environmental and climate education has never been greater. The populations whom are the most impacted by climate change are often youth in high-risk areas, such as Uganda and the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, to the Gulf Coast of the United States. The changing climate does not just bring environmental issues, but extends to economic, health, and even issues of national security. The youth voice needs to be heard in the decisions our leaders are making in combating the effects of climate change because it is our youth that will inherit the consequences of the decisions we make. Climate literacy in the next generation will ensure a foundation of knowledge and discourse as society faces how to best deal with a changing climate. Understanding the essential principles of climate science will enable all people to assess news stories and contribute to their everyday conversations as informed citizens. Society needs people who understand the climate system and know how to apply that knowledge in their careers and in their communities.

Earth Day Network is vested in ensuring all students have the environmental knowledge and the civic skills to make a difference in their communities and ultimately the world by making environmentally conscious decisions. Starting in 2017 and extending past our 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network plans to launch a campaign that will inspire global leaders to commit to comprehensive environmental and climate literacy programs for all K-12 students around the world.

We hope for your continued support as we plan for Earth Day 2017. In addition to planning for Earth Day, here are the updates on some of the Education Department’s wonderful year-round campaigns and projects!

#Teach4Climate Campaign

With another school year rapidly approaching, a flotilla of partners are working together to support educators in enhancing the climate literacy of American students and citizens. The campaign will demonstrate new and innovative ways to expand climate change learning opportunities for students, and will equip educators with science-based information and resources. This coordinated social media effort is a commitment to education, engagement, and lifting up innovative and effective climate change education resources and opportunities.

Nicaragua Environmental Literacy Project

Earth Day Network continues to work with education officials in the Nicaraguan government, non-profit, and private sector to develop a plan for Nicaragua to move forward with a comprehensive environmental and climate education programs in all K-12 schools. Recently EDN staff met with Dr. Paul Oquist Kelly, Minister of the Private Secretariat for National Policies of Nicaragua, and Francisco Campbell, Ambassador of Nicaragua, to discuss the education opportunities in several large-scale environmental initiatives in Nicaragua. EDN plans to convene the next planning session on this initiative during Climate Week in NYC during the week of September 19th. Earth Day Network’s goal is to help Nicaragua become one of the first countries to declare that their entire student body is climate literate and that Nicaragua is at the forefront of environmental sustainability in the world.

Conferences

Earth Day Network’s Education work will also be represented in several conference presentations this fall. Dr. Karena Ruggiero, Director of Education, will be presenting research and collaborative initiatives at the following events:

How Does Your State Environmental Literacy Plan Measure Up: Evaluating and Revising ELPs. North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE): Annual Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. October 2016. Half Day Workshop.

Turning Red States Green: Bipartisanship in Environmental Education Policy. NAAEE Research Symposium. Madison, Wisconsin. October 2016. Facilitated Discussion.

Financing Green Schools in Low-Income Communities. NAAEE Annual Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. October 2016. Traditional Presentation.

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN Network). NAAEE Annual Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. October 2016. Roundtable, Co-Presenters: Kristen Poppleton, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy; Mark Chandler, Columbia University; Art Sussman, WestEd; Jen Kretser, The Wild Center; Karena Mary Ruggiero, Earth Day Network