Environmental studies program for educators to be offered August 4-8
The Child Development Institute (CDI) and Sarah Lawrence College Center for Urban River at Beczak are offering a new professional development program, Teaching the Environment: Discovering Urban Landscapes, for educators working with children in early childhood, elementary, and middle school settings. This week-long study of the environment will be held at the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB) on the banks of the Hudson River in downtown Yonkers and on the College’s main campus from August 4-8. The program will feature an interdisciplinary curriculum including hands-on workshops, seminars and discussions with experts, and field trips to Hudson River community-based organizations.
Participants will engage in hands-on workshops such as “Hudson River Watershed and Water Quality,” led by Victoria Garufi, Education Director at CURB, Colin Abernethy, SLC Chemistry faculty, and Chris Bowser, Education Coordinator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Seminars such as “Children and Outdoor Learning,” by Susan Schwimmer, SLC Early Childhood Center Lead Teacher, and “The Nature of Nurture: Teaching the Environment and Child Development & Learning,” by Kim Ferguson, SLC psychology faculty, will be held throughout the week to discuss readings, to reflect, and to share best practices. Participants will also have an opportunity to speak with local leaders such as Peter Kilgallen, Assistant Principal of William E. Cottle School, and learn about their experiences implementing environmental education programs in their communities. Furthermore, educators will explore the urban environment of downtown Yonkers through a social justice walk led by Marilyn Power, SLC Economics faculty, as well as trips such as those to Greyston Foundation’s Community Gardens and Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Science Barge.
In addition to offering in-service hours and graduate credit, Teaching the Environment: Discovering Urban Landscapes also fulfills the requirements of NERR’s “Teacher on the Estuary” program, a research and field-based teacher training initiative to improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of the environment using local examples and to provide resources and experience to support the incorporation of estuary and watershed topics into classroom teaching.