International Recognition for PLT’s Early Childhood Program
By Vanessa Bullwinkle
Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood curriculum has been selected as one of 100 leading sustainable solutions by Sustainia, an international institute that identifies the most innovative and impactful projects from around the world that are at the forefront of a faster transformation to a sustainable future. The solutions are selected for their environmental, social, and economic approaches towards sustainability, and for their potential to scale up across markets and societies.
Sustainia has acknowledged PLT’s Early Childhood program for engaging young children in outdoor exploration and play a solution that helps future generations understand and value the environment while adopting a more active lifestyle. PLT connects children to nature, develops critical-thinking, and encourages students to take action to improve their environment. PLT’s Early Childhood materials are available to educators through hundreds of low-cost, high-value professional development workshops held every year across the United States and internationally, most notably in Mexico and Japan where the materials have been translated into Spanish and Japanese respectively.
Each year, Sustainia’s research team and an independent advisory board identify innovative, sustainable solutions across ten key sectors, spanning energy and transportation to fashion, food, health and education. This year they vetted over 1,000, selecting the top 100 that are being successfully deployed in 128 countries. These 100 solutions are published in the SUSTAINIA100 guide.
PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood was recognized at the SUSTAINIA100 launch event in London yesterday. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Governor of California and Honorary Chair of Sustainia, had the following to say about the group selected this year, “Congratulations to the SUSTAINIA100 for 2013. They are the true action heroes of sustainability. From Canada to Kenya to Guatemala to India, these solutions are proving that we can build communities that are both environmentally and economically sustainable today and for generations to come.”
On November 7, 2013 at a ceremony in Copenhagen, one solution from the list of 100 will be selected to receive the prestigious SUSTAINIA Award, an annual international award that honors outstanding performance within sustainability. Governor Schwarzenegger heads the selection committee that also includes former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, EU Commissioner of Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, and Chair of the UN climate panel, IPCC, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri. Ten finalists for the SUSTAINIA Award will also be presented to world business leaders and politicians during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
We are honored to receive the SUSTAINIA100 distinction. This award acknowledges the hard work of thousands of people in PLT’s international network from curriculum specialists and early childhood providers who helped develop the materials in 2010, to our network of state and international partners, and volunteer facilitators, who deliver the program worldwide. Congratulations! We should all be proud!
Credit for 2013 Sustainia100 graphic: Sren Malmose