Sustainable Nevada helps schools design, develop and implement ecoliteracy programs.
Our flagship program is EcoStudents, a partnership with Reno's High Desert Montessori School. High Desert Montessori is a rapidly growing, Reno public charter school offering free Montessori education to at-risk students.
EcoStudents represents the next level in education. It connects a student-centric, project-based, STEAM curriculum, the renovation of the school campus, and business and community professionals resulting in ecoliterate students.
EcoStudents is composed of four pillars:
- A Sustainability Curriculum that uses ecology and the environment to teach the science behind green community design. The curriculum has been approved by the Washoe County School District for an environmental science credit.
- A Sustainable Campus that includes green buildings that reduce building operating costs and improves student and faculty health and wellness; and an outdoor learning environment that includes gardens that provide students and the community with access to fresh, organic, locally grown food.
- Linked Learning, a program that connects what students learn in the classroom to community professionals and internships that place students on science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design career pathways.
- Sustainable Learning Communities, an outreach program that helps other schools implement their own EcoStudents program.
During the 2015 school year the 9th grade Sustainability Curriculum utilized the LEED Certification of High Desert Montessori's empty 30,000 square foot building to teach the science behind sustainability in the built environment. Over the summer a 1.8-acre empty lot between the school's Silverado and Orvado buildings was purchased, providing an opportunity to expand the Sustainability Curriculum into the living world.
This year the Sustainability Curriculum is being taught in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. In addition, an elective version of the curriculum is being offered.
In August 2016, the Nevada Department of Education elected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools program. Green Ribbon Schools awards institutions that strive for 21st Century excellence in: 1) reduced environmental impact and costs; 2) improved health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and 3) environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. Sustainable Nevada is working with High Desert Montessori to make the school the first Nevada institution through the Green Ribbon Schools program.
EcoStudents has been endorsed by the Reno Ward 3 Neighborhood Advisory Board, Reno City Councilman Oscar Delgado, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, the Washoe County Board of Commissioners, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and the USGBC Center for Green Schools.
Ecoliteracy is about understanding earth's ecosystems in order to create sustainable human communities. Sustainable communities include everything from school gardens, urban agriculture and nature areas (the living world) to renewable energy, alternative fuels, recycling and energy-efficient green buildings (the built environment).
Achieving a sustainable, ecoliterate society is impossible without community engagement. Get Involved provides everyone with an opportunity to participate in ecoliteracy and sustainability projects in both the built environment and the living world.
Sustainable Nevada is a 100% Giving Board.