PCGS partners with the Stavros Center to deliver sustainability education to K-12 teachers
In close partnership with USF’s Stavros Center (College of Education), PCGS has been involved in the project “Sustainability Superheroes: Developing Global Citizens for a Sustainable Future”, which is funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation and supported by a USDA grant to the “Southeastern Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata” (SPARC).
The goal of the project is to develop and conduct a high-quality professional development program for K-12 educators currently employed by six school districts in the USF region in order to enhance their knowledge and curricula/instructional skills as it relates to sustainability issues. The targeted school districts are: the Hillsborough County Public School District, the Manatee County Public School District, the Pasco County Public School District, the Pinellas County School District, the Polk County School District, and the Sarasota County Public School District. The Hillsborough County Public School District is the seventh largest school district in the nation with approximately 230,000 K-12 students. The Pinellas County School District is also a large district with in excess of 100,000 K-12 students.
With the participation of the PCGS faculty under the leadership of Drs. Dick Puglisi and Deb Kozdras of the Stavros Center and Dr. George Philippidis of PCGS, sustainability education of teachers has been delivered through:
- Workshops at the Stavros Center that help educators understand current issues in sustainability from an academic perspective.
- Workshops at the Stavros Center that involve businesses that discuss current problems and sustainability solutions.
- Lesson plans and resource collections for K-12 educators that help them link their standards to the current issues.
- Collaborations with educators to implement sustainability practices into their schools.
The PCGS faculty are Drs. Brooke Hanson, TH Culhane, Joseph Dorsey, Kebreab Ghebremichael, and Heather Rothrock. The project originally targeted 720 educators over 2 years, but it has already exceeded that goal by educating 1,136 teachers from 339 schools in the 6 school districts through 34 workshops during the first 12 months. This means that over 100,000 Florida students have already been exposed to teachers trained by this Stavros Center-PCGS partnership in sustainability education.