CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., August 3, 2012 ... Earlier this month several local teachers, including Heather DeBlasio of Rippowam Cisqua School in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., took time away from their summer vacations to dive into a topic of growing importance in many classrooms: sustainability and how best to teach it to today’s students.
DeBlasio, a science teacher at Rippowam Cisqua, joined over twenty other educators for the 2012 CELF Summer Institute, an intensive 4-day teacher training workshop that took place mid-July at Manhattanville College.
Designed to help educators seamlessly integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) practices into existing curriculum across all subject areas, the professional development workshop is one of many programs developed and run by Chappaqua-based Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF). This year’s Institute marked CELF’s fifteenth such workshop to date. Earlier this summer CELF kicked off a specialized EfS curriculum-training program for New York City’s public schools, having been tapped by the New York City Department of Education as a leading authority on the subject.
According to CELF’s Executive Director Katie Ginsberg, the goal of the Institute is for every participant to “walk away not only with a better understanding of how to teach sustainability and systems concepts, but also with a set of relevant and exciting lesson plan ideas for immediate implementation.”
Commenting on her experience, George who is an academic advisor at Our Own English High School in Dubai stated, “I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend the Institute. The instructors were clear in communication, innovative, and creative.”
Also attending the Institute was Tom Lynch, a Manhattanville College graduate student who said that “the most useful aspect of the Institute was understanding the concept of going beyond ecology to the other aspects of sustainability and how to apply them to my curriculum.”
Joining George and Lynch at the Institute were a wide variety of private and public schools from the Westchester County, N.Y., Fairfield County, C.T. and the greater New York City regions including: Harrison High School and Louis M. Klein Middle School (N.Y.), Hastings High School (N.Y.), Ripp wam Cisqua in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., Pleasantville Middle School (N.Y.), the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., Greenwich Country Day School (C.T.), three schools in the Danbury Public School District (C.T.) and two New York City area schools. Additionally, for the first time the program included international participation, with the enrollment of an academic supervisor from a United Arab Emirates private school.
Generously funded by corporations, private foundations and individual donors, the Institute has provided professional development and curriculum design support for hundreds of teachers over the past eight years. Con Edison is a longtime advocate of CELF, as is Praxair, who provided full scholarships for teachers from Danbury, C.T. public schools.
For more information about CELF or the CELF Summer Institute, go to www.celfeducation.org.
About The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation
(CELF): Founded in 2003 and based in Chappaqua, N.Y., CELF was created to promote awareness of the importance of sustainability education and to help schools and school districts make sustainability an ongoing part of education. To achieve this, CELF provides consulting services for schools and school districts, training for teachers and administrators and sustainability education programs for students. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, CELF works with all kinds of schools—urban, suburban and rural, public and private. For more information go to: www.celfeducation.org.