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UC Irvine School of Education Contact:
Stacey Wang Rizzo
Director of Communications & Marketing
Dr. Kelley Lê to Spearhead UC and CSU Partnership to Advance PK-12 Climate Change and Environmental Justice Literacy Instruction
CALIFORNIA – Ten Strands and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Education are excited to announce Dr. Kelley Lê as the inaugural executive director of the Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Projects (ECCLPs) at UCI, furthering its mission to ensure all California public school students are prepared to address the environmental challenges and inequities associated with the worsening climate change. A partnership between Ten Strands, the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems, and community organizations, ECCLPs is a first-of-its-kind collaboration to meet the urgent need to advance climate and environmental literacy in PK–12 instruction.
For more than a decade, Dr. Lê has been a champion for students in the educational field, previously serving as a high school science educator, science specialist, instructional coach, and educational leader. She is an expert in the field of environmental education, having developed and facilitated programs in the areas of climate change education, environmental literacy, science and equity, nanoscience and the Next Generation Science Standards. Dr. Lê currently leads the UCI Science Project that supports K–12 science educators and leaders to reimagine science education for the 21st century. The Science Project is housed in the UCI School of Education’s Center for Educational Partnerships.
“I am excited to continue the profound work of making sure students all over California have the tools and resources they need to protect their environments and the planet,” said Dr. Lê. “I look forward to working collectively with ECCLPs partners to activate the agency already within teachers and students to make informed decisions and become stewards in our mission to protect our changing earth and ecosystems.”
Dr. Lê also sits on the board of Ten Strands, supporting the organization in its mission to strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s K–12 students. She is also a member of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative’s leadership council, a statewide movement working to create systems change in support of environmental literacy with a focus on access, equity, and cultural relevance for all students. Read about her journey to becoming an advocate for climate science education here.
Dr. Lê brings a profound level of expertise to the environmental justice and climate change space. This year, she was announced as a National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Friend of the Planet Award winner. Read more about her award here.
Previously, Dr. Lê served as a coordinator, lecturer, and program designer for the UCI CalTeach science and mathematics program. Her prior roles include being the California science instructional specialist for a program authored by the Lawrence Hall of Science, curriculum consultant for the UCLA Curtis Center, and program designer and facilitator for the UCLA Science Project. She is also the author of Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6–12: Empowering Science Teachers to Take on the Climate Crisis Through NGSS (Routledge, 2021).
“Kelley’s passion for building authentic relationships and teaching science through a social justice lens has helped develop ECCLPs as a leading project in the environmental justice and literacy space,” said Ten Strands CEO Karen Cowe.
“Kelley Lê has been an invaluable leader as the director of our Center for Educational Partnership’s Science Project,” said Frances Contreras, UCI School of Education dean and professor. “She has worked to empower educators to be agents of change and to build capacity within their schools. Under her new role as executive director of ECCLPs, we have no doubt she will continue to build on the UCI School of Education’s mission to support the next generation of educators poised to transform education, especially environmental science education.”
UCI professor of sociology and education, Richard Arum, who has been involved in the initiative since its inception and will provide support to Dr. Lê in his ongoing role as faculty advisor to the project, commented, “with Dr. Lê taking on this leadership role for the initiative, we are poised to have an extraordinary impact in the state and to create a national model for environmental climate change education.”
On September 15, the UCI School of Education and Ten Strands relaunched ECCLPs alongside higher education partners to re-engage major collaborators in climate and environmental literacy, justice, and action. The relaunch of ECCLPs was made possible with the generous support of UCI Foundation Trustee Stacey Nicholas. Read more about the event here.
Ten Strands and the UCI School of Education look forward to continuing the work with Dr. Lê to champion the fight against climate change in her new role as ECCLPs’ executive director. Learn more about ECCLPs here. Get involved here.
About UC Irvine School of Education
The University of California, Irvine School of Education is focused on advancing education sciences and contributing to improved educational opportunities and outcomes for individuals across the entire lifespan. A diverse, dynamic and collaborative institution, the School of Education’s research, community partnerships and programming are dedicated to producing innovative scholarship, addressing the needs of local schools, and inspiring future generations of educators. Led by Dean Frances Contreras, the School of Education is ranked No. 10 graduate school of education and No. 4 among public schools of education by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Education is home to more than 1,000 students are enrolled in the bachelor, master, and doctoral programs, and a vibrant network of more than 10,000 alumni. The School of Education has been a part of the University of California, Irvine since 1967, when it was established as an Office of Teacher Education. In 1991, it grew into the Department of Education and, in 2012, became the School of Education.
About Ten Strands
Ten Strands is a California–based nonprofit established in 2012. Our mission is to build and strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s K–12 public school students. We operate with a small, diverse, and nimble staff and strategic partners throughout the state. Ten Strands utilizes the largest and most diverse institution in California—the public school system—to impact 58 county offices of education, more than 1,000 school districts, approximately 10,000 individual schools, over 300,000 teachers, and 5.8 million children. Learn more at www.tenstrands.org.