$109K grant to Shelburne Farms will help teachers engage students with local climate change mitigation

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Increased flooding may be one of the most immediately visible and tangible impacts of climate change in the Upper Valley. Teacher Shawn Brodeur-Stevens and students at Charlestown Middle School worked with a variety of community partners to map, assess, and report out on the town’s culverts. Their work helped the roadcrew develop a maintenance and improvement plan, better preparing the town for regular and extreme weather events.

Vermont Business Magazine A program inspired by VT's Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative can expand in Vermont thanks to A $108,966 grant to help teachers and community organizations partner to engage students directly with local climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. The grant has been awarded to Shelburne Farms to launch the “Right Here! A Guide for Equitable Climate Action in the Upper Valley and Beyond” and is made possible by gifts from the following fund(s): Wellborn Ecology Fund. 

Getting REAL

Equity-centered climate action is the most direct path toward developing the knowledge and skills essential to environmental and social wellbeing. For those feeling climate anxiety and social injustices, equitable climate action also builds hope based on the visible results of student efforts.  

What does equitable climate action look like and how can teachers incorporate it into their curricula? This was the driving question and impetus for the REAL Framework featured in the forthcoming publication, “Right Here! An Educator’s Guide to Equitable Climate Action in the Upper Valley,” co-authored by Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools educator Joan Haley; Andrew Powers and Micheal Duffin of PEER Associates; environmental justice consultant Casandra Mathelier; and Prosper Valley principal Aaron Cinquemani. 

This work was inspired by conversations over the years with the Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative and supported by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundations' Wellborn Ecology Fund. Teachers, download this guide for free.

REAL—an acronym for Relationships, Equity, Action, and Leadership—is a framework for implementing equity-centered climate change education. 

The framework, generated from interviews with frontline educators and student leaders in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire, is designed to empower students and help them use these academic building blocks wisely and effectively to create a healthier future for all. 


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