Recently Gregory Smith, Professor in the Lewis and Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling, received a $19,380 grant from the Gray Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to train teachers in the West Linn (OR) School District on environmental issues. The Environmental Education Program seeks to encourage a strong local land ethic, sustainable communities, and stewardship of the natural environment by citizens throughout Oregon. The Fund is committed long term to institutionalizing a series of age-appropriate experiences that build a sense of place and responsibility towards Oregon and the region.
The Sustainability Education Initiative is a program of professional development coursework and activities for K-12 teachers in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. During three courses offered in 2009, Smith prepared 50-60 teachers to incorporate sustainability issues into their classrooms and help them implement school or community projects that will enhance local natural and social environments. Participants will be eligible for small seed grants to fund start-up projects. The grant aims to increase the number of teachers implementing sustainability projects in schools, and increase student and educator awareness of local natural systems, ecologies, and social needs.