Empowering Maine’s Next Generation Nature Leaders
Imagine a Maine where EVERY child has opportunities to experience nature. A Maine where children are empowered to transform their natural experiences into action. A Maine where youth from diverse backgrounds are provided access to nature and the tools to learn to think critically about complex natural issues and challenges, and are supported in finding solutions and creating the change they want to see in their own communities. Imagine a state that recognizes the value of environmental education (EE)and that best practices identified for EE also translate to teaching best practices and are utilized as a tool to assist in transforming educational practice K-12. We at MEEA KNOW this is what the future of environmental education in Maine.
MEEA is currently working towards this vision-a vision that is deeply impacting and empwering youth in our state. This important work is resulting in a healthier more vibrant, sustainable community. The continuation of this work is important and essential for Maine's healthy future. MEEA is the lead organization in the state implementingMaine's Environmental Literacy Plan, a document enacted by the Department of Education that provides a collaborative framework to integrate EE into K-12 education. In 2015, Youth Empowerment was a key strand of the MEEA annual conference where participants identified key educational elements and best teaching practice that support transformative action in youth. In addition, MEEA has recently been awarded an EECapacity grant from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to continue and deepen this work in 2015-2016. We are energized and committed to this important topic!
To move youth nature engagement and empowerment forward in Maine it will take a coming together of many organizations and educators; and a deep collaboration between informal EE providers and formal education. This transformative work is already widespread in Maine is making Maine a national leader in the field of environmental education. At MEEA our role is to assist in facilitating this work, raising funds to support this work, sharing the stories of success, and providing opportunities for leaders and youth to connect, and to learn from one another to facilitate the development of models and best practices that can be implemented on larger scales for change. The following question is guiding our current work around youth empowerment:
“How can increasing collaborative action in Maine build our collective impact resulting in a more deeply empowered next-generation?”
How YOU Can Contribute:
We invite YOU to join MEEA as we work to better empower Maine's youth. If you are interested in supporting this important work please consider a donation to MEEA! If you want to volunteer on a MEEA project related to youth empowerment please contact us for more information. If you have an exciting story to share around this topic we want to help you share your work--please contact us! Consider following MEEA on social media to assist us in making connections and sharing all of our stories. We look forward to meeting you, hearing your story and working with you in the future!