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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Virtual Doors Opening for Online Environmental Education in Response to Coronavirus

Mar 29, 2020 12:53PM ● By Marilee Burrell
As schools close their physical doors due to coronavirus, virtual doors are opening, providing new opportunities for creative teaching and learning. Katie I. Ginsberg, founder and executive director of Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, says CELF is responding by focusing on where it’s best equipped to help: programming that empowers students to understand how we are connected to the environment and to each other worldwide. 

“While we recognize that too many students and schools lack resources for remote education, terrific online learning solutions are increasingly accessible,” Ginsberg says. “Such innovative programs bring the natural world—and a breath of fresh air—to homebound students and their parents and teachers.”     

In the weeks ahead, CELF will be hosting live Zoom video sessions for teachers, parents and others interested in sharing ideas and collaborating. To participate, email Vicky Garufi, CELF’s director of education, at [email protected] 

CELF already posts educational guides and tools on its website, and it will now be regularly posting about other helpful resources, like iNaturalist.org for exploring local green spaces.

“Children can join the social network of naturalists, civic scientists and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe,” Ginsberg says.       

She also suggests joining the Facebook group Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning. “It is so inspiring to see how teachers have come together to support students and one another. Like everyone right now, I am especially grateful for a sense of connectedness and shared visions of a hopeful future.”

For more info, visit celfEducation.org.