Spearheaded by the Green Education Foundation (GEF), National Green Week is an annual event that empowers schools to engage in sustainability focused lessons, projects or activities. From the first full week in February until the end of Earth Month (April), participating districts, schools, classrooms and youth groups choose a week and select from one of GEF’s sustainability focused programs to be their ‘green theme.’ National Green Week 2014 kicked off February 3, and participants can choose ANY week until April 25 to be designated their Green Week. With over 10,000 schools and 5 million students participating, it is the largest functioning sustainability education program running.
GEF’s sustainability programs are all free and are designed to be easily incorporated into the classroom. Each theme provides five days of standards-based lesson sets, activities, recommended reading, sustainability tips, contests and more. Possible green themes include:
- Green Energy Challenge – Empowers children to take small steps towards a collective impact on our environment, economy and society.
- Waste Reduction Challenge – Teaches children how trash impacts the planet and encourages participants to reduce the waste they create everyday and recycle.
- Green Thumb Challenge – Enlists schools and youth groups to get gardening by providing tools, resources, curriculum and activities to connect the garden to the classroom.
- I Ride Green – Invites participants to start easy-to-adopt green habits that can lead to lifelong healthy behaviors.
- Green Building Program – Encourages participants to learn about green building strategies, including how buildings impact the environment and how changes in the construction can help and conserve natural resources.
- Sustainable Water Challenge – Invites students to learn about the importance of water, our planet’s most valuable resource, and learn how to conserve water at home and at school.
Upon the end of Green Week, participants are eligible for awards and prizes, including a $100 gift card for completion of a Green Week survey, Green Packs for their class for completing the Green Classroom Pledge, or $250 for their class or school for winning the Green in Action Award.
To learn more about Green Week or to participate, visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org/greenweek.html.
Green Education Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education by providing educators with real-world learning models that connect science, technology and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.