Educating Educators: Green Ambassadors Institute [PHOTO GALLERY]

Several times each school year, administrators, teachers and parents from middle and high schools throughout California attend Green Ambassadors Institute (GAI). The program is a dynamic learning lab project of Environmental Charter Schools (ECS) that has transformed education at ECS and at schools across the state.

Through interactive workshops and courses, GAI shares curriculum, activities and best practices with educators, administrators and community organizers seeking innovative strategies to incorporate sustainable education into any subject.

This February, educators from local school districts gathered at ECHS to rethink the way students and teachers look at “waste,” using an interdisciplinary approach to explore the topic through creative hands-on projects. Educators left with ideas for practical and inexpensive sustainable projects to implement on their own campuses and in the community. ECS students taught participants how to make handmade paper using recycled copy paper, how to capture rainwater and reduce runoff on campus, and how to manage a school compost system. Participants also gained valuable curriculum resources developed by ECS teachers for exploring a variety of environmental issues including waste, water and food.

“Our hope with the Institute is that educators will come away inspired to take action at their school, and then facilitate that process with their students. The first step is understanding that they can make a difference, and by gaining the tools to implement this program at their school, they can really transform their campus and community!”  – GAI coordinator Sammy Lyon.

See our photo gallery below documenting the most recent two-day GAI course, from learning how to make recycled paper with Spanish teacher KC Villoria’s 11th grade students to going on a field trip to visit our non-profit partner  Trash For Teaching.

Register or learn more about our upcoming GAI courses:

DATES: April 2, 2014 (planning day) & June 6, 2014 (carnival day)
TIME:8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
LOCATION: Environmental Charter High School
16315 Grevillea Avenue, Lawndale, CA 90260

Details: Learn now to plan and produce a student-led celebration of sustainability while witnessing ECHS’ earth day carnival in action. Attendees will leave with planning tools, rubrics and modules that help guide student created-lesson plans. The author of the Green Ambassador curriculum will teach the course.

DATES: April 8 & 9, 2014
TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
LOCATION: Environmental Charter High School
16315 Grevillea Avenue, Lawndale, CA 90260

Details: Learn more about the power of service learning and how implementing it can make a difference in your classroom and the community while exploring the AMBASSADORS portion of the Green Ambassadors curriculum. You’ll leave with an understanding of how to to get your students to take action in solving real world problems. You’ll be empowered to shift from “teacher” to “facilitator,” with curriculum tools that will help your students produce presentations, videos, events and much more — no matter what subject area they are working in. Specific starts and resources are given for the course participant to adopt these project-based units in the classroom. You’ll leave with a service learning plan to implement with your students.

Schools that participated in February’s GAI include: Millikan Middle School Affiliated Charter Performing Arts Magnet & Science Academy in Sherman Oaks, Thomas Starr King Middle School in Silver Lake, Sequoyah School in Pasadena, Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, Gertz-Ressler High School in Downtown Los Angeles, Leuzinger High School in Lawndale and Kraemer Middle School in Placentia.