MMA Education Director Working on State Environmental Literacy Plan

MMA is pleased to announce that our Director of Education, Kim Botelho, was elected Clerk and is now representing the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) on the development of the state’s Environmental Literacy Plan (MassELP).   During the MEES annual conference on March 9, 2016, when Phase 1: A Case for Advancing an Environmental Literacy in Massachusetts was released, she presented to 250 educators from all over the state and called them to action to help promote this environmental literacy movement.

 In a follow up letter to teachers, Kim explained that “one of the ultimate goals for states working on ELPs is to get them adopted by their state Department of Education so that environmental education (EE) is integrated into the curriculum in every public school across that state.  How amazing would that be!  As you all know, taking kids outside to learn has so many benefits even beyond building an appreciation for the environment and a greater understanding of ecological processes.  Research shows that environmental education improves student achievement in core subject areas, gets them more engaged in learning,  improves behavior, and so much more.  As indicated in the North American Association for Environmental Education’s ELP Status report, ELPs give teachers and students new opportunities to take learning outside; explore their communities; analyze issues; learn about connections between our economy, society, and environment; support economic growth; and become engaged citizens.  This is the very goal that MEES is working towards. Let’s get EE in every public and private school in MA!!!  Please understand that the intent of this effort is NOT to make a bunch of new standards for teachers to address and test to, but rather, to have them use the outdoors to teach to those standards and subjects that are already required at their schools.”  Kim is now working on compiling best practices in EE from around the state with the goals of (1) increasing public awareness of EE efforts and its importance and (2) gaining more support at the state level for this effort.  If you are a teacher and use the outdoors as your classroom, Kim wants to hear from you and she wants to make sure your community knows about the great work you are doing.   Please send her an email at kbotelho@mariamitchell.org for more information. 

 

To see Phase 1, please visit MassMEES.org or go to: http://massmees.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MassELP-Phase-I-Summary-FINAL.pdf