Here's What's Trending in June/July


THEGOALS.ORG is a free global education and learning portal on sustainable development solutions. It is a unique and free open crowd-learning experience for mobile devices that connects youth from all the corners of the world. The aim is to build understanding and cooperation about the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.


Great American Campout

Summer is the perfect time to go camping, and the National Wildlife Federation invites you to join the Great American Campout.  Whether you camp in your own backyard or a campground far from home, it’s easy to be a part of this nationwide event. Make the pledge to camp today

Share your camping adventures using #Campie and #GreatAmericanCampout!




Summer Maintenance for your Schoolyard Habitat

With school winding down across the country, don’t forget about maintenance for your school garden over the summer. Not sure how to keep your garden watered during the hot summer months? Consider using drip hoses if there is a nearby hose connection. Some schools have success using a tool like Sign-Up Genius to line up family volunteers to help out with garden maintenance over the summer. Plan a welcome back garden cleanup for August as a way to involve the community and gets kids excited about the new year learning outdoors. You can also find water and soil conservation tips on the NWF Garden for Wildlife web page. Don’t forget to share your ideas with us via social media @EcoSchoolsUSA. 



Wildlife Library: Rays

From pancake-sized rays, to the giant manta ray, this month’s Ranger Rick magazine highlights the unique Chondrichthyes. Most of the roughly 630 species of rays live in the ocean, where they spend a lot of time on the ocean floor. Educating students about rays and other lesser known species is important, according to Jillian Morris, a marine biologist with Sharks4Kids. “In learning about the more obscure species, students are also learning overall about the incredible diversity among sharks and rays.” Read more in the recent NWF blog post

You can learn more about all kinds of rays in the June/July issue of Ranger Rick magazine. And don’t forget about the Educator’s Guide which provides educational extensions to each magazine. This month’s guide includes the activity My Life in the Flat Lane. 



Community Engagement: A Core Element of the Eco-Schools 7-Step Framework

Environmental education is about creating healthier communities for all—with ecological integrity, shared prosperity, and social equity as our long-term goals. Environmental educators have been working in, with, and for communities for decades. As communities have evolved, so has the field of environmental education. In creating the Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence, NAAEE brings the field’s professional standards to environmental educators’ dynamic work in today’s communities.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat is a pillar of excellence in community engagement, which includes Eco-Schools USA. Learn about our nation’s more than 100 certified Community Wildlife Habitats and how your community can get started today!

Healthy Living Pathway

In today’s digital world, it’s even more important for schools to help promote healthy living habits for students. Implementing the Healthy Living Pathway allows students to examine their school environment and make suggestions for improvements. By completing a school-wide audit, students can better understand areas of healthy living to focus on, such as how much time is spent participating in outdoor activities, and then taking that data and implementing an action plan. Sample action plans and audits can be found on the NWF Eco-Schools USA website.   

Some suggestions to promote healthy living at school include working to increase the number of outdoor or walking field trips, as well as encouraging teachers to assign homework using the outdoors as inspiration. Find these and more ideas in the Top Ten Tips to Promote Healthy Students



Green Opportunities


The GLOBE Program Summer Professional Development 

Summer is here. If you are scheduling your professional development, please consider, GLOBE Training for Eco-Schools: Earth Systems Science in your Schoolyard Habitat®. Learn more about our partnership with NASA’s The GLOBE Program and view the course outline

The course is open for registration now

The course will be open for 8 weeks, starting 7-10-17 through 8-7-17. 

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Climate Change Education
Climate change is having significant impacts on ecosystems and wildlife all over the nation and around the world. How we address the challenges of global climate change now will dictate the outcomes and opportunities for future generations. Equip students with the knowledge and skills, innovative creativity and civic prowess to engage and combat the effects of climate change.


Don't forget to use Ranger Rick's Nature Notebook to help connect your students to the natural world and download a copy of the educator's guide too!