Nurturing Environmental Stewardship
To ensure all students receive quality environmental education, CBF focuses on partnerships with teachers, administrators, and school systems. One example comes from the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), where students launch canoes from CBF's Brock Environmental Center to explore the Bay.
"Partnerships with CBF extend the walls of our classrooms and let our students apply textbook learning out in their backyards," says VBCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence. "Whether looking at watershed conservation or oyster reef restoration, they work with content experts like CBF to get first-hand experience in challenges and opportunities within their city."
For Dr. Spence, the benefits of cross-curricular environmental education are clear. "Through our partnership with CBF, students explore scientific investigation, discovery, and more. They learn to collaborate, think critically and creatively, and begin solving real-world, local problems," he explains. "Taking ownership in stewardship of our natural resources helps them see the greater challenges facing us all."
What most excites me about the future of our CBF partnership is that the potential for students is limitless.
And the effect isn't felt just by the students. "When I was a principal, I spent several days on Smith Island with CBF learning about challenges the Bay faces," Dr. Spence says. "This experience bothered and inspired me. It convinced me we could ask our students to think about these issues more deeply."
Environmental stewardship inspires CBF's partners to make their own conservation goals. VBCPS, for example, is nationally recognized for energy management and facilities construction and maintenance.
"We understand the crucial role communities play in sustaining our natural resources," adds Dr. Spence. "We're a water city, with tidal rivers like tendrils reaching nearly every part of our geography."
When you educate a teacher, a principal, or a school system, you can end up educating entire communities.
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