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SFUSD Ecoliteracy Institute at the Botanical Garden

In early June, 33 lucky teachers participated in the first-ever Ecoliteracy Institute for kindergarten through second grade teachers. Growing from the 10-year collaboration that produced Science in the City and Science in the Park, the SFBGS Youth Education Program partnered with the California Academy of Sciences, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Bay Area Science Project, the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance and the San Francisco Unified School District to present this unique opportunity for SFUSD teachers.

Teachers spent three days at Jefferson Elementary School, one of the Youth Education Program's longtime partners, and two days on-site at the Botanical Garden, learning how to integrate the use of the "outdoor classroom" into their required teaching. Institute staff including Annette Huddle, Youth Education Director, shared hands-on, standards-based activities, practical strategies for managing students outside, and deeper content about natural systems to strengthen teacher's skills and knowledge, at the same time using the outdoors to inspire and motivate them, just as they will do with their students in the coming years.

This was the best professional development I've had in a decade!

Katrina Broomall of E.R. Taylor Elementary School

Feedback from the teachers was enthusiastic. "I got so much more than I ever expected! This was so informative, fun, hands-on, creative, relaxing, community-based, interactive and really cool!" said Karen Mooney of Alvarado Elementary School. Katrina Broomall of E.R. Taylor Elementary School wrote "This was the best professional development I've had in a decade!"

We look forward to continuing to serve these teachers with additional professional development opportunities in the coming school year, and expect to see many of them in the Garden with their students as well.


Back to July 2012 newsletter