Increasing Environmental Literacy in Sonoma County Youth

The Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC) is a regional consortium of environmental education professionals from organizations, agencies, and school districts created to enhance best practices in our fields and to encourage the creative exchange of ideas within the science education community. Our mission is to create vibrant, innovative collaborations that increase environmental literacy in Sonoma County youth.  As a collaborative, SEEC undertakes its mission by identifying and addressing regional needs for environmental education beyond the scope of individual organizations.

SEEC’s work reaches over 25,000 students and community members annually through the collective’s programs. We promote professional development within our community, and we have held nearly 20 workshops focused on topics promoting best practices in environmental education that are prioritized by the SEEC community. These include monthly speakers’ series as part of our regular meetings – thanks to the support of the Community Foundation!

In March 2023, we collaborated to create an event that connected youth to multiple organizations that help to guide them in the direction of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) careers in the county. We also launched a new initiative called “Pathways to Environmental Literacy.” Thanks to grassroots funding from the Ridell Family, SEEC was able to leverage the outdoor education programming all fourteen SEEC organizations in the county are already doing, and to scaffold the programming so that each child will gain a unique experience with STEAM and an outdoor adventure. This three year pilot aims to give each child at an under-resourced, Title1-funded school three different experiences in the outdoors in grades K-6, each one complementing the prior experience and leading them to a path of environmental literacy. We look forward to continuing this important work.

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