A cohort of 11 educators from across the nation will inspire environmental initiatives and efficacy in their communities as EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors

EcoRise, a nonprofit curriculum, and training provider based in Austin, TX, has announced its 2018-19 cohort of Teacher Ambassadors including Ehrhardt Elementary’s Stacie Mehaffey.

“Eco Rise really makes it easy to teach sustainability,” said Mehaffey. “I love that I am part of a group that is like-minded. We need to teach this skill set to students of all ages.”

Mehaffey and her students wanted to do something that would positively affect their school and after completing an Eco Audit that found a few areas of improvement, they decided to begin recycling. Together, they applied for a mini-grant through Eco Rise to purchase a recycling bin for each classroom at Ehrhardt. After receiving the grant, thanks to the Sun Club, the Ehrhardt Eco Soldiers had formed and was in charge of distributing the bins, educating each classroom about what was to be recycled and then picked up the recycling each week.

“The students see the value and importance of taking care of our school, community, and our environment,” said Mehaffey. “The students are so inspired and want to do more. We have several projects in the works this year including a project that has already been funded which will bring 20 fruit trees and additional shade trees to the campus. The funding also includes planting, watering, and maintenance on the trees for two years!”

The purpose of the EcoRise Teacher Ambassador program is to recognize the trailblazers in sustainability education and foster community between like-minded individuals. Throughout the 2018–19 school year, each educator will facilitate teacher trainings, support other EcoRise teachers in their communities, present at conferences, and recruit future EcoRise teachers. They will provide valuable ongoing feedback to the EcoRise staff that will drive improvements to EcoRise’s curriculum and school-based program. Most importantly, they will continue to captivate their students in the classroom with EcoRise curriculum, support, and programming.

This past July, Ambassadors, along with EcoRise District Partners, convened at St. Edward’s University in Austin for the inaugural three-day Summer Institute where they refined their professional development skills, learned about EcoRise’s resources and support and were equipped with skills they need to ignite a new generation of green advocates.

You can read more about EcoRise and this inaugural group by clicking here.

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