Childrens Environmental Literacy Foundation

Sustainability Education for our Rapidly Changing World

aka CELF   |   Valhalla, NY   |  www.celfeducation.org

Mission

The Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation was founded in 2003 on the principle that education for sustainability is essential for today’s K-12 students. Education for sustainability is a teaching methodology that develops critical thinking skills necessary to understand complex, interconnected issues. Students today face unprecedented challenges and an imperative to balance economic, social and environmental problems. They need to feel inspired and be prepared to innovate new solutions. CELF programs use real-world problem solving to prepare students with the holistic thinking skills and motivation to become agents of change for a healthier, more stable and sustainable future.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Katie Ginsberg

Main address

200 Summit Lake Road Suite 130

Valhalla, NY 10595 USA

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EIN

36-4540146

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The growing environmental and related economic and equity challenges facing this and future generations require an educated population with the skills to understand, analyze, and take part in complex decisions regarding issues such as water use, climate change, and preservation of natural places. K-12 school systems recognize the need for professional learning for educators to be able to equip students with the attitudes, behaviors, and skills that lead to responsible engagement with their communities. In order to prepare students to thrive in our complex and interconnected world, systems-thinking is a critical skill to develop. Our current education systems lack consistent and robust programs addressing this essential skill. CELF guides teachers in experiences outside the classroom that build students’ systems thinking skills and stimulates them to ponder, and question, the relationships between culture, design, economics, and environmental issues.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Whole Systems Change in K-12 Education

For schools and districts committed to sustainability as a strategic approach to education reform and as a legacy, CELF offers a framework for systemic change across campus, curriculum and community.
• Curriculum Integration and Design: Increased capacity for teachers to connect learning related to the district’s Energy Performance Contract as integrated sustainability education units in existing K-12 curriculum.
• Project “Living” Documentation: CELF collects and archives teacher-created curriculum and project designs in shared cloud platform and photos as a model of systemic change.
• Place-Based Work: Training to increase appreciation of the community’s natural habitats and develop a greater integration of both indoor and outdoor campus facilities in instruction.

Population(s) Served

“Transformative” is the word often used by educators to describe our annual four-day immersion-training program. The Summer Institute is a unique experience that brings educators together with leading sustainably experts in an interactive way to share and understand the most current thinking on sustainability issues and concepts like biomimicry, design through repurposed and recycled materials, and the circular economy. Our experts also provide strategies to connect their content expertise with practical application to K12 learning opportunities. Every participant leaves with project-based curriculum for their grade/subject area and/or a school-wide sustainability plan.

Population(s) Served

CELF's Civic Science program is a professional development and curriculum design program for middle school science, STEM and health teachers to improve instructional skills in project/problem/place (P3)-based learning. The program begins by building an understanding of the principles and practices of Education for Sustainability (EfS) and how to integrate them into core curriculum. Teachers develop a thorough understanding of P3 learning contextualized in their school neighborhood. Each teacher integrates the Program into their existing curriculum in a unique way depending on the current focus of their classroom. Some classes invent solutions to air pollution, others focus on highlighting connections between water, soil and other environmental factors. The program is not an isolated “project” to be wedged into instructional practice, but rather a method of connecting campus, curriculum and community, drawing out real world relevance to student learning. This approach fundamentally supports the integration of studies across curricular content areas.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects the number of teachers CELF has trained in education for sustainability concepts through all of our programs offered - Summer Institutes, Whole School Change and Civic Science.

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We estimate that each teacher we educate on the concepts of sustainability, reaches 100 students.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Since its inception, CELF has provided consulting services, professional development programs and student training programs with a goal of making sustainability education an integral part of the K-12 learning experience. Our programs for educators and students complement our consulting services by providing training in education for sustainability and offering a multitude of ways to bring sustainability education into the classroom.

Working with school districts and educational organizations, CELF creates custom programming that addresses whole school change. Using a proven framework, strategically developed to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and current K-12 best practices, CELF provides educators with project-and place-based learning strategies and curricular access points for Education for Sustainability (EfS).

Our professional learning model engages educators in interactive learning experiences, with CELF Facilitators working side-by-side to design curricula and school programs that integrate EfS instructional practices and the “Big Ideas of Sustainability”, creating EfS classroom and school-wide learning opportunities.

Applying community-building principles of EfS in every aspect of our work, CELF creates a learning community among students, teachers, administrators and the community at large. When teachers belong to an effective culture of collaboration and cooperation, they are inspired to create this culture with their students.

The concepts of sustainability are universal, but every district and school starts from a different place. Whether you have a handful of knowledgeable teachers or one enthusiastic administrator, CELF will partner with a school or district, and navigate the steps necessary to ensure today’s students will become tomorrow’s Earth Citizens.

CELF is an award-winning educational organization that specializes in K-12 environmental literacy and STEM learning through sustainability. CELF has received recognition awards for our transformative work with teachers, students and school communities from the EPA Region 2, NY League of Conservation Voters and the Clinton Global Initiative. CELF has helped schools and districts achieve the National Green Ribbon Award (Warwick Valley Central School District and Western Connecticut Academy for International Studies) through professional development that focuses on connecting STEM curriculum with campus energy, water, waste and transportation projects.

CELF has received recognition awards for our transformative work with teachers, students and school communities from the EPA Region 2, NY League of Conservation Voters and the Clinton Global Initiative. CELF has helped schools and districts achieve the National Green Ribbon Award (Warwick Valley Central School District and Western Connecticut Academy for International Studies) through professional development that focuses on connecting STEM curriculum with campus energy, water, waste and transportation projects.

We are proud to say that since its inception, CELF has worked with more than 13,000 teachers and school leaders and more than 1 million students from 4,000 schools. This is just the beginning of our work to bring systemic change to K-12 education and we look forward to working with you.

Financials

Childrens Environmental Literacy Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Childrens Environmental Literacy Foundation

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Maureen Brady Atinsky

Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

Term: 2018 - 2021

Jessica Mendolwitz

Ketchum Corporate Practice

Bill Davis

Stance Capital

Nick Gutfreund

Long Run Media, LLC

Janet Harckham

Board Professional

Charles Kimball

Korea Center for International Finance

Karen Funk

Alex Krueger

First Reserve

Dean Slocum

Acorn International, LLC.

Samarth Bhaskar

Maureen Burgess

The Hewitt School

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/27/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability