ECO2school Delivers on Teen Engagement at NAAEE Conference

by Paola Alvarado, CCP  | November
6, 2015

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[Amy Jolly, 

Shivani Kumar, and Paola Alvarado]

Sunny San Diego hosted the 44th North American
Association of Environmental Educators Conference, bringing together educators
from all over the world to share best practices and innovative approaches to teaching
about climate, environment and sustainability.

The NAAEE conference inspired great discussions, and highlighted
how environmental programs should approach diversity and equity changes in the
education system. The ECO2school team was excited to be part of this
knowledge-filled weekend and have the opportunity to share what they learned here
in Sonoma County. 

Amy Jolly, ECO2school Program Implementation
Manager for the Center for Climate Protection (CCP), facilitated a discussion focused
on building youth engagement in programs. She shared insight about what
attracts teenagers to programs and how to maintain their interest and
strengthen their commitment to creating positive solutions to the climate
crisis. The discussion attracted educators and program developers from across
North America.

“By
meeting students where they are and helping them take their leadership to the
next level,” says Amy “We create a program that deepens and enriches students’
connection to environmental and climate issues.” The ECO2school
model addresses the equity issue and allows students from different backgrounds
to take a leadership role in the program. 

Paola
Alvarado, ECO2school Program Coordinator, and Shivani Kumar, a
member of CCP’s Youth Advisory Board, also represented CCP at the conference. Shivani,
as a junior at Analy High School, served a unique role at the conference,
giving participants the opportunity to ask questions directly to a
representative of their target audience. Shivani said, “Through ECO2school,
I learned that my actions make a difference and the events we promote encourage
my peers to take environmentally-friendly actions. I joined the Youth Advisory Board
because I want to have a positive impact. Accepting that I didn’t have to know
everything helped me feel confident to get involved outside of school.” 

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“Working
with ECO2school has inspired me to learn about how others are
engaging their communities in sustainability efforts. Attending the NAAEE
conference has inspired me to continue to be part of the national environmental
movement.”- Shivani Kumar
 

To learn more about the NAAEE conference please go to
www.naaee.net.

Paola Alvarado is the ECO2school
Program Coordinator at the Center for Climate Protection.

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