Thanks to You: Our Top Ten 2019 Highlights!

By Ten Strands|December 3, 2019

As we look back on 2019, we want to thank you for your support and engagement with Ten Strands. Since 2012, our focus has been to work with the largest school system in the country to integrate environmental literacy into the core educational experience of all California’s 6.2 million K–12 public school students. We are excited to share our top ten 2019 highlights with you, and we hope you are inspired to continue with us in this journey towards an environmentally literate California.

1. We forged a new partnership with the University of California and California State University systems to co-author a report and host the first Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Project and Summit (ECCLPS). This December’s summit at UCLA will bring together higher education leaders and other stakeholders to explore preparing future and current teachers to teach their students about urgent environmental and climate change issues in the context of standards-based instruction. 

2. We partnered with the California Environmental Education Foundation to form the Water Energy and Education Alliance, bringing together school district career technical education leaders with water and energy utility sector professionals to create green career pathways for students leading to jobs.

3. We continued to lead the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, convening representatives from California state agencies, leaders in formal and nonformal education, and community-based organizations to coordinate the advancement of environmental literacy.

4. We deepened our partnerships with the California Subject Matter Project and the California Science Teachers Association, increasing opportunities for teachers to access professional learning focused on environmental literacy. A climate summit and institutes in science, history–social science, global education, and environmental justice helped K–12 teachers build content knowledge, ensuring that their students will receive environmental literacy learning experiences. 

5. Our partnerships with the California Department of Education, the California County Superintendent Education Services Agency, the California Subject Matter Project, K–12 Alliance, the California Science Teachers Association, and the State Education and Environment Roundtable resulted in statewide rollouts focused on environmental literacy for the Next Generation Science Standards, History–Social Science Framework rollouts that incorporated environmental literacy, and inclusion of California’s Environmental Principles & Concepts into the new Health Framework.

6. New partnerships in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, and Yolo counties are resulting in the creation and distribution of resources to help county office of education leaders across California weave environmental literacy into the foundational structures and systems of K–12 education in their regions.

7. We deepened our partnerships with districts around the state engaged in environmental literacy planning, including: Alameda, Pajaro Valley, Petaluma, Evergreen, San Francisco, Montebello, Rialto, Fontana, and Anaheim. Special congratulations to Rialto USD for winning the 2019 National Green Ribbon Schools Award!

8. Our partnership with the California History–Social Science Project at UC Davis is featured in The Source magazine in an issue dedicated to environmental literacy, and has been shared statewide throughout their network.

9. Our partnership with the California Outdoor Schools Association resulted in an overhaul of the Residential Outdoor Science Schools Guide. The guide, which had not been updated in over 10 years, includes a peer review process for residential outdoor schools in California, ensuring quality and consistency in outdoor education experiences for all California’s K–12 students.

10. We published a number of powerful stories written by people engaged in the daily work of increasing environmental literacy in California. These articles show how districts, schools, and teachers are successfully using the environment to engage students in core academic subjects. This year we also established a new category of publications dedicated to youth voices.

We are so grateful to work in partnership to nurture and sustain the environmental literacy movement in California. We hope you are proud to be part of this journey, and know that our successes are yours as well. If you feel inspired by these stories, 2019 highlights, and the growing momentum of the environmental literacy movement, please stay engaged and consider making a year-end contribution so that together we continue to make progress into 2020—and beyond!

Ten Strands
This article was written by Ten Strands

Ten Strands' mission is to strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s K–12 students. Our vision is a world where everyone understands and experiences the interrelatedness of people and place; where all students have access to high-quality education with an environmental component; and where all people have the knowledge, awareness, and ability to make decisions that promote health and wellbeing for themselves and their communities.