National Green Week and the Green Energy Challenge are two of Green Education Foundation’s (GEF) main programs that encourage students to learn about sustainability and make small behavior changes in their lives. National Green Week is intended to empower students to become leaders of their own sustainability campaigns, mainly around waste reduction. The Green Energy Challenge is a sustainability education program designed to teach Pre K-12 students about energy and the importance of conservation through standards-based environmental curricula and hands-on audits. GEF encourages school and group leaders to spend time with their students discussing environmental issues and participating in any number of GEF’s free lessons, activities, or eco challenges to help guide their students’ involvement.
GEF recently distributed an online survey gathering results and responses about teachers’ experiences with their programs. This year, over 5 million students participated in one of GEF’s programs. Approximately 260 respondents, including youth group leaders, teachers, principals, and parents from across the country took part in the survey. The results were overwhelmingly positive and many of the schools and teachers reported their success and happiness with GEF’s program resources, activities, and contests. Results showed that 89% of the survey respondents would recommend GEF’s programs and curriculum to peers. Also, 87% of teachers responded that GEF’s programs were a valuable learning experience for their students and/or staff, while 92% said they learned important environmental lessons.
Several anecdotes were provided by respondents expressing how they participated in either National Green Week or the Green Energy Challenge, along with their impression of GEF as a whole:
“We are pleased to be apart of GEF and feel motivated and directed by great ideas in the newsletter. Thank you for all you are doing to inspire us and offer opportunities.”
“Students are excited to do the right thing. I am always amazed at how interested they become when equipped with the knowledge and practices they can do.”
“A school with more than 2000 students started separating their trash and making compost out of more than 80% of it.”
“Getting out doors and being active is one of our focuses this year. Students were able to “Get Moving” having fun planting and caring for the garden.”
Since the programs’ launch in 2008, participation has continued to grow tenfold, demonstrating the commitment to and enthusiasm for sustainability in K-12 schools nationwide. Victoria Waters, CEO and Founder of GEF, commented that “GEF is so pleased with the positive feedback from the National Green Week and Green Energy Challenge survey. It’s amazing to see how teachers and youth group leaders are successfully incorporating our sustainability programs into their schools and communities. We are anticipating that participation and engagement in 2013 will continue to grow as sustainability education becomes a cornerstone in K-12 schools.” The survey results gathered this year will help GEF continue to improve existing programs, develop new sustainability programs, and provide schools and teachers with comprehensive educational materials and resources.
About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Green Education Foundation (greeneducationfoundation.org) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.
Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities online. Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at facebook.com/greenedufoundation.