San Mateo County Office of Education's Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative (ELSI) will receive a 2020 Sustainability Award from Sustainable San Mateo County at its 21st Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 2. The awards program, which was designed to raise awareness of sustainability, recognizes local programs that address environmental impacts, social equity, and economic vitality in San Mateo County. 

The San Mateo County Office of Education’s (SMCOE) Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative (ELSI) was launched in 2017 by former San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell and expanded in 2019 under Superintendent Nancy Magee. It has jump-started an array of environmental programs throughout the county and made the County Office of Education a state leader in environmental literacy education. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the County Office of Education two Green Ribbon Awards for this initiative, and California county offices of education are beginning to ask for guidance on how to replicate it. ELSI offerings in San Mateo County include capacity building for students, teachers and administrators; networks for convening environmental champions and community partners; career education; recognition celebrations; a website with resources; and customized technical assistance.