Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum.
The Eco-Schools program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement. Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.
NWF to Lead U.S. Eco-Schools Program
In December 2008, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) was granted Eco-School host status for K-12 schools in the United States. Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools USA combines effective "green" management of the school grounds, the facilities and the curriculum.
Benefits of the Eco-Schools Program
The Eco-Schools program is designed in a way that:
Eco-Schools USA uses a program of Seven Steps that involves a wide diversity of individuals from the school community - with students playing a primary role in the process. The steps are:
1. Establish an Eco-Action Team
2. Perform an Environmental Review / Audit
3. Develop an Eco-Action Plan
4. Monitor and Evaluate Progress
5. Link to Educational Curriculum
6. Involve the Entire School and Larger Community
7. Create an "Eco-Code," or a Mission Statement