August 21 – Coastkeeper Explores How Educators Can Teach Children About the Environment

Free public forum in Oceanside will evaluate how new statewide standards impact the role of environmental science in children’s early education

SAN DIEGO, August 21, 2013 – San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization that protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters, wants environmental education to play a role in helping teachers meet new statewide education standards. Common Core Standards, which focus on math and English language arts, benchmark what students should know and do. A connection to science and technology standards could be clear for some, but without a clear connection to environmental education, the system could neglect to teach environmental science and pollution prevention.

At its August 29 Signs of the Tide, a free public forum that address water quality issues in San Diego, Coastkeeper’s lineup of education and environment experts will explore the role of environmental education as a teaching tool that integrates essential skills needed to meet the new standards with real-world problem solving skills.

“The goal of the state standards is to bring math and literacy together into an integrated plan that sees children leave school with reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Science and technology are presented separately, leaving few opportunities for our children to learn about environmental science and pollution prevention,” said Megan Baehrens, executive director at San Diego Coastkeeper. “We can use environmental education as a vehicle to help teachers meet goals and, at the same time, prepare students for the innovative high-tech and clean-tech sectors critical to the future of San Diego and North County.”

Signs of the Tide: Can we Overcome the Environmental Education Curriculum Gap will explore this curriculum gap and how environmental education can help teachers meet the standards.

San Diego Coastkeeper education coordinator Sandra Lebrón will introduce the topic with an overview of Project SWELL, a K-2, and 4-6 water and pollution science curriculum developed with the City of San Diego and San Diego Unified School District that has been active since 2003. Teachers from Oceanside and San Diego schools now have access to Project SWELL lessons, online resources, materials kits and professional development, which align with current state standards and help the teachers meet their goals with students.

Expert speakers will dig deeper by describing their challenges and experience with the Common Core standards in formal and informal science education settings.
• Cynthia Mallett, environmental specialist for City of Oceanside, Clean Water Program
• Lauren Biggie, educational programs director for Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center
• Justin Kern, principal of Stuart Mesa Elementary School in Oceanside Unified School District

Coastkeeper welcomes anyone to attend Signs of the Tide, especially teachers working to align science lessons to the state standards, informal educators trying to understand how programs can align to the state standards, parents wondering what their children learn about the environment and community leaders looking for after school and summer educational experiences.

The free Signs of the Tide is on August 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Oceanside City Hall in the community rooms adjacent to the library, at 300 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, 92054. Please RSVP by August 26 via email slebron@sdcoastkeeper.org or 619-758-7743 X125.

For more information, please visit localhost/sdcoastkeeper.

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SAN DIEGO COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. Visit us online at http://localhost/sdcoastkeeper.