About the Environmental Education Pathways Project
The Environmental Education Pathways Project (Pathways Project) is a new three-year initiative of the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC) and Community Foundation Sonoma County. The Pathways Project builds on SEEC’s network of providers to coordinate a cohesive countywide effort whose focus is: To significantly elevate the impact of outdoor environmental education across Sonoma County, increasing depth and breadth, and the extent to which we reach and create change in underserved communities.
The heart of the Pathways Project is to create a collaborative learning pathway that connects and grows environmental understanding throughout a student’s elementary school years (K-6). Each year’s curriculum will build on the previous year, scaffolding students’ environmental education learning with a capstone experience in the final elementary school year. An essential element of the Pathways Project is outdoor experiential learning, where students engage in hands-on science, and develop feelings of belonging and connection—a sense of comfort and confidence in and from the outdoors.
The primary goals for the project are to:
- Identify and pilot solutions to barriers to delivering environmental education.
- Build the capacity of each service provider to collaborate while also maintaining program delivery.
- Pilot environmental literacy pathways in selected underserved schools, tapping the strengths of participating service providers and working within the individual school capacity and culture.
To accomplish this, the Pathways Project will work at three levels: (1) on the ground supporting the delivery of outdoor environmental education to Title 1 schools; (2) within schools to build stronger relationships with teachers, school administrators and diverse environmental education providers, and; (3) across institutions to bring resources, and diverse experiences and perspectives to create sustainability.
Grant Program Overview and Criteria
Environmental education providers are invited to apply for funding for their programs for the 2023-2024 academic year if they meet the following criteria:
- Active participation in SEEC, defined as the following:
- At least one member of the organization is an active member of SEEC, defined as having attended at least 6 meetings in 2022.
- At least one member of the organization is an active member of a SEEC committee. This means that they have participated in monthly or bi-monthly committee meetings during the 2022 calendar year. Committees include the Steering Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Youth Committee.
- Provide environmental education programs to students in Sonoma County during the school day. Out-of-school-time programs that take place after school or during school breaks are not eligible for funding.
- The EE program the organization is applying for provides children the opportunity to explore nature outside of the school campus. Classroom-based programs that do not include a field component are not eligible for this funding.
- Serving at least one identified Pathways school during the 2023-2024 school year:
- Albert F. Biella Elementary School
- Bellevue Elementary School
- Cinnabar Elementary School
- El Verano Elementary School
- Flowery Elementary School
- Guerneville Elementary School
- Healdsburg Elementary School
- Helen Lehman Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- John Reed Elementary School
- Luther Burbank Elementary School
- McDowell Elementary School
- Meadow View Elementary School
- Monte Rio Elementary School
- Robert L. Stevens Elementary School
- Roseland Creek Elementary School
- Sassarini Elementary School
- Steele Lane Elementary School
- Wright Charter School
- Can commit to participating in school-level working groups for each Pathways school the provider is serving. EE Pathways grantees will receive a $10,000 stipend for staff time to collaborate and actively participate in these working groups throughout the school year. Participation includes but is not limited to correspondence about the Project, information-sharing, and regularly attending school-level working groups.
Monday, July 3: Application opens; eligible applicants have been emailed a link to apply
Friday, July 28 at 5 pm: Application Closes
Wednesday, August 9 through Friday, August 11: Applicants notified of funding decisions
Week of August 28: Grants Awarded
SEEC is an all-volunteer organization coming together since 2008 to facilitate collective impact for environmental education in the County. SEEC meets monthly and is managed by a Steering Committee of six organizations. Collectively, these six organizations reach over 65,818 (duplicated) students annually with a combined budget of well over $2M. The County had a total of 66,450 public school students in the 2020-21 school year.
To learn more, visit https://sonomacountyee.org/
This grant program is by invitation only. For more information about the Environmental Education grant program, please contact:
José Castro Gambino
Community Impact Officer
For questions about the online application process, please contact:
Community Impact Coordinator