Join the National Wildlife Federation’s 14th annual Great American Campout™, where people across the country are encouraged to camp as a fun and inexpensive way to connect with nature and wildlife. From May to October, all people who pledge to camp are entered into a sweepstakes full of camping themed prizes. Also, the National Wildlife Federation’s Trees for Wildlife program will donate 5,000 native trees once pledges reach their first 200,000 campers. Learn more and make an online pledge to camp today! No skill required!
June 8, 2018, is World Oceans Day, followed by the March for the Ocean (M4O) on June 9. Every community has the power to protect our local waterways, lakes, and rivers that lead to the ocean. In support of our many friends working to raise awareness for M40 and the call from our oceans for help, Eco-Schools USA asks you to WEAR BLUE AND MARCH FOR THE OCEAN. The WOW pathway is a great way to end the school year, conducting litter audits and cleanups. This civic engagement opportunity will benefit our waterways and communities and nurture future stewardship.
The first official day of summer is just a few weeks away, and the National Wildlife Federation is here to help complete your summer reading list. Below you’ll find reading suggestions for teachers and students that cover various environmental themes, from helping you create the best wildlife habitat to conservation history.
Suggestions for Teachers:
Suggestions for Students:
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter all summer long, where we will be telling stories, sharing the latest facts about our planet and strategies and tips to prepare for the new year.
Spending time on the water is a popular summer activity, and depending on where you live, you might be lucky to spot a majestic bald eagle. The June/July issue of Ranger Rick® magazine highlights the James River area in Virginia, which is now home to 250 eagle pairs. The story also has links to several active bald eagle cams in locations around the USA, including eagles Mr. President and First Lady who live at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. The eagle cams are an engaging way for students to observe these iconic birds up close. Use the cams to introduce students to our national bird, and then let them conduct further research using the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Guide. The Wildlife Guide is a tool students can utilize to research facts about range, life history, and conservation efforts. This guide will also be helpful to students working through this month’s Ranger Rick student pages (a part of the free monthly educator’s guide).
Teachers can also learn about the special story of one bald eagle named Beauty, and how a 3D printed beak was used to rescue her. Find eagle-related Green STEM resources on our website, including the Beauty and the Beak Educational Guide.
Outdoor Time in Nature
What is the National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour program? It was designed to encourage parents, schools, childcare centers and others to adopt a goal of an hour per day of time for children to play and learn outdoors in nature. Research shows the best way to connect young people to a lifelong concern for nature, wildlife, and the outdoors is through regular positive experiences. As you send your students off for the summer, encourage them to spend regular time in nature. For younger kids, consider sharing the link to Ranger Rick® magazine, where they can download a free nature notebook template and find outdoor activities. Check out and follow the Green Hour Facebook page for more nature inspiration.
June 5 is World Environment Day, and this year the theme is Beat Plastic Pollution. We commend all the schools that have shown measurable success in reducing plastic waste through the implementation of the Eco-Schools USA Consumption & Waste Pathway. But what else can be done?
Teachers can further engage students by introducing the One Less Straw campaign. Take action by making an individual or school-wide pledge to reduce plastic straw usage. Put a “plastic straws on request only” plan in place now in preparation for implementation in the school cafeteria for the 2018-2019 school year. Learn more about the One Less Straw campaign on our website and take the pledge.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Fresh Out of the Solar Oven
Teamwork, collaboration, and design process thinking were all evident when 4th graders at Holland Township Elementary worked with Polytech High School seniors to build a solar oven. Money and equipment were donated by the local business community, including Rossi Chevrolet Buick GMC, a dealership participating in the Eco-Green Program. This STEM education partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and General Motors (GM) brings together schools and local GM employees, suppliers and dealers to help support schools using the Eco-Schools Seven Step Framework and to expose students to STEM careers. This kind of innovative-problem solving led to a delicious Earth Day celebration which included fresh-baked cookies for the Kindergarten class at Holland Township. Read more Chocolate Chip Cookies Fresh Out of the Solar Oven on the blog.
Update Your Eco-Schools USA Dashboard
Whether you just registered to become an Eco-School, or are applying for an end of the year award, use your personalized dashboard to highlight your goals and accomplishments. Simply log in and "Edit Your Profile."
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You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers.