News Archive

October 31, 2017

Boulder County and Partners Launch E Movement

A collective of environmental educators, teachers, and schools unite around environmental education

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County helped to launch a first-of-its-kind collective made up of schools, teachers, and environmental educators who will use a set of guidelines to ensure all students graduating in Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District participate in meaningful and age-appropriate environmental education.

What separates E Movement from other environmental education collectives are the E Guidelines, a living document which suggests specific learning outcomes for various grade levels making sure to holistically educate the student both inside and outside of the classroom.

“The E Guidelines were created by and for educators” says Brad Smith of the Boulder County Sustainability Office. “They are designed to create a continuum of meaningful experiences educating the head (academic), heart (social-emotional), hands (service), and feet (sense of place) of each student as they traverse from early childhood all the way through high school.”

Boulder County is an environmental education hot spot with more than 20 third-party organizations operating in the region and
many teachers who are aware of and implement environmental education. A countywide study was completed in 2013 showing that even with all the local resources, gaps in environmental education do exist based off of demographic
and geographic locations. E Movement will fill these gaps and build deeper connection and continuity within this existing movement by making it easier for teachers and schools to connect with resources including pre-approved third-party educators that provide training and support, evaluate efforts, and recognize schools and educators for successes.

“Boulder County is excited to be partnering in this transformative collective,” said County Commissioner Elise Jones. “When
children and youth participate in solution-oriented and place-based environmental activities, research shows they become more engaged in school and their community. Youth are the next caretakers of this county and we need to best prepare our youth to be successful members of our community and the planet.”

The development of E Movement has been a multiyear project initially led by the Boulder County Environmental Education
Collaborative (BCEE) and then developed by the BCEE, Boulder Valley School District, St. Vrain Valley School District, and Boulder County Sustainability Office. E Movement is currently receiving applications from third-party environmental education providers and working with schools and teachers for the 2017/18 school year pilot. Learn more at
www.eMovement.org.

Who is Participating?

Schoolwide Adoption:
Lyons Elementary; Louisville Middle School

Classrooms:
Columbine Elementary (BVSD), Columbine Elementary (SVVSD), Adventure
Montessori, New Vista High School, Monarch High School, Centaurus High School

Environmental Educators:
Growe Foundation, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Cottonwood Institute,
Boulder Valley Inspiring Connections Outdoors, Eco-Cycle, Entrepreneurial
Earth, Thorne Nature Experience, Ocean First Institute, Wild Bear Center,
Cal-Wood Center.

About Environmental Education:
Environmental education (EE) holistically brings together the study of natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, art, and literature both inside and outside the classroom linking EE to improved test scores. It is human-centered and provides everyday opportunities to practice crucial life skills such as problem solving, empathy, critical thinking, creativity, and inclusivity. EE also improves student health by getting students outdoors and active, which helps address common health epidemics among today’s children such as obesity, attention deficit disorder, and depression.

Children learning about gardens