As a result of the enthusiasm and meaning our volunteer instructors bring to the classroom each and every week, Environmental Education for the Next Generation (EENG) has become hugely popular among teachers, college students, and—most importantly—the students we teach. In just two and a half years of operation, we’ve expanded the program from a single 2nd grade classroom in 2009 to teaching more than 2,300 students in 95 classrooms this year alone. As Executive Director, I’ve overseen the launch of four regional chapters in California; EENG now runs in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco.
Since the successful launch of our regional chapters, which my team of directors and I have overseen from our headquarters in Santa Barbara, we truly believe that the sky is the limit. We’ve proven that the model works in a wide variety of communities, so we can’t wait to get more college and elementary school students involved!
We recently launched a major publicity campaign to tell our story as widely as possible, and hope to leverage the connections and attention we garner to continue to accelerate our regional expansion. My ultimate dream is to bring the program nationwide, and feel that based on the reception we’ve received so far, this goal is completely within reach.
It’s vital that we continue to offer our program completely free of charge, so as not to further the financial burden on the public school system. Since there are costs associated with program development and launch, we’ll need the support of organizations like Do Something to take our program to the next level!