Title

Sparking Eco-Awareness through Global Environmental Literacy with Urban Elementary Students

First Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Fifth Presenter's Institution

Cincinnati Public Schools

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

I. "HEAD": Academic Achievement & Leadership Closing achievement gaps and promoting learning for all children and youth.

Effective school leadership for Title I schools

Success stories of Title I educators

Turning around low-performing schools

Academic instruction (reading, writing, mathematics, or science) for students at risk of failure;

Inclusion; Special education.

V. "HOME": Family & Community Developing and enhancing family and community support for all children and youth.

Parental engagement in school

Parental involvement in student achievement or discipline prevention

Community programs, partnerships, or service projects

Brief Program Description

Presenters share with school-based practitioners the process for implementing a Global Environmental Literacy program in a Midwest urban elementary school. Presentation includes definitions of terms (global environmental literacy, community learning center, and project-based learning), program components (global citizenship, environmental literacy, health and wellness, digital literacy, and service learning), and practical strategies for implementation in an high need, high poverty urban school.

Summary

A high-poverty urban school (turned community learning center) with demographics (95% African-American, 100% free/reduced lunch, and 30% students with disabilities) experienced an academic transformation with consideration of how to develop life-long learners. The school with community input and support developed a new program called Global Environmental Literacy that integrates the common core state standards along with field excursions and hands-on, project-based learning. There are five components of the program: global citizenship, environmental literacy, health and wellness, service learning, and digital literacy.

The strategies that we use to develop and implement this program will be shared with conference participants:

- School-community engagement through face-to-face meetings, focus groups, and surveys to identify the components of the program focus

- Development of a mission and vision to guide our work

- identification of new school partners to support the work and share resources

- Training teachers using local, regional, and national consultants to re-envision our instructional strategies to promote eco-awareness and project-based learning with hands-on learning opportunities (particular emphasis on students with disabilities)

- Step-by-step guide to implementation of the new focus, including cross-curricular integration, project-based learning, service learning, and real life applications of learning

- Overview of sample lessons from teachers

- Quick wins (marked increase in parental involvement, community engagement, partners, school enrollment, and hands-on activities)

Evidence

The field-tested practices are based upon a variety of theoretical frameworks and research-based methods. Our Global Environmental Literacy program requires our students to engage in critical thinking in all content areas, while using the outdoors as a means for inquiry (Sobel, 2004; Broda, 2007; Bennet and Barlow, 2012). Supported by partnerships that fulfill a developmental asset for students, students are serving their community through a variety of curriculum-based service projects (Starkman, et al, 2006; Kaye, 2010). Our school community has embraced and embedded the concept of the growth mindset research, which promotes the concept of “grit” and persistence (Dweck, 2006). We are also ensuring that our students understand the strengths that are associated with success, using the Values in Action’s strength-based characteristics research (Wagner & Ruch, 2015). By intertwining the research perspectives with strategies to increase student achievement, we have witnessed a transformation of our school. We are experiencing positive results as noted by the following outcomes.

- Increased parental involvement as evidenced by participation in school programs and PTO,

- Increased community engagement as evidenced by partnership agreements and number of volunteers,

- Increased school enrollment (Up by 60% over the past 4 years and 20% this past year), and

- Increased student engagement evidenced by classroom walkthrough data and student participation in field excursions and hands-on, project-based activities.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kimberly Mack serves a principal of John P. Parker School and has served as a school administrator in Cincinnati Public Schools for 16 years. She is a certified School Turn Around Specialist and has a proven track record of success as featured on the NBC News Education Nation and the Mayerson Academy Report. Her research interests focus on how to promote school-community relations to increase student achievement and issues related to social justice through advocacy for the disenfranchised. As a published author and motivational speaker, Dr. Mack shares her belief in the power of partnerships to help all students achieve greatness.

Keyword Descriptors

environmental programs, cross-curricular integration, students with disabilities, project-based learning

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

Sparking Eco-Awareness through Global Environmental Literacy with Urban Elementary Students

Presenters share with school-based practitioners the process for implementing a Global Environmental Literacy program in a Midwest urban elementary school. Presentation includes definitions of terms (global environmental literacy, community learning center, and project-based learning), program components (global citizenship, environmental literacy, health and wellness, digital literacy, and service learning), and practical strategies for implementation in an high need, high poverty urban school.