- In 2016, the Education Workgroup hosted the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Literacy Leadership Summit, which brought environmental education experts, cabinet-level state government representatives and other decision-makers together to explore how states can help local education agencies create and sustain high-quality environmental literacy programming. In 2017, the Education Workgroup convened two additional summits. The first (held in April) explored the benefits of sustainable schools, the cultivation and support of environmental literacy programs and the ways state, federal and local education agencies can work together to enrich student educational experiences. The second (held in November) established a cadre of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) ambassadors to advocate for and support the development of state and local environmental literacy programs.
- In 2017, the Education Workgroup established indicators of environmental literacy in order to assess progress toward environmental literacy goals.
- In 2017, the Education Workgroup distributed the second Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT) survey and is analyzing related data.
- In 2017, the Education Workgroup published An Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. This easy-to-use manual for constructing high-quality educational experiences for all students brings consistency and quality to the work done under the Environmental Literacy Planning, Student and Sustainable School outcomes. As jurisdictions continue to implement improved and more systemic MWEEs, they will use and promote this so-called MWEE Guide with teachers and non-formal educators and strengthen outdoor learning for students throughout the region. This resource will help create young citizens who understand and respect our natural world.
- Encourage and support school districts in their efforts to develop environmental literacy frameworks that document the grade(s) in which Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) and other environmental literacy programming occurs.
- Provide school districts with technical and/or financial assistance to implement and integrate MWEEs and sustainability efforts into existing curricula.
- Provide school districts with recommendations to advance environmental literacy.
- Provide school districts with examples of model planning documents (e.g., environmental literacy frameworks, school sustainability plans or curriculum integration tools).
- Encourage school districts, environmental education providers and community groups to form local networks that will engage youth in and out of school.
- Work with school districts to collect data and information through the Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT).
- Create reports, data visualizations and progress indicators with information collected through ELIT and elsewhere to inform policy and resource allocation decisions.
- Use state working groups, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Education Workgroup and the Principals’ Staff Committee to convene partners and high-level leaders around key issues of environmental literacy.
- Work with regional and national organizations and funders to raise the visibility of and funding toward our environmental literacy efforts.
- Identify and promote the means to secure the personnel, programmatic and other resources necessary to achieve our environmental literacy goals.