Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative

The San Mateo County Office of Education is the first in the state to initiate an Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative, which promotes environmental literacy and helps prepare leaders to integrate environmental sustainability and a climate-ready mindset across a school community's campus, curriculum, community, and culture.

Learn more about the initiative in this video from Sustainable San Mateo County, which awarded the County Office of Education a Sustainability Award in 2020 for the initiative's success.


SMCOE’s Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative offers a number of programs geared towards educators to build their capacity to actively integrate environmental sustainability into their school communities, classrooms, and programs. Learn more about these programs below and visit SMCOE's Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative Programs for a list of all programs offered by the initiative. 

  • Collective Impact - Campus as a Laboratory for Learning Program: This program utilizes the Collective Impact Approach, to bring together school districts and their broader community, to achieve greening facilities and operations, and utilize these efforts in curriculum and instruction as a laboratory for learning. To learn more about this program visit Collective Impact - Campus as a Laboratory for Learning.
  • Community Based Environmental Literacy Partners (CBELP) Network: SMCOE convenes this network of Community Based Environmental Literacy Partners (CBELP). The purpose of this network is to foster collaboration, build capacity and consistency in programs alignment, and further integrate into districts and schools. To learn more about this network visit Community Based Environmental Literacy Partners (CBELP) Network.
  • Educators for a Sustainable Future Leadership Program (under development - program will start in January 2020)
  • Environmental Literacy Initiative Community of Practice: SMCOE convenes a network of educators on a quarterly basis to focus on the knowledge, skills, and values needed for moving environmental literacy forward across a school’s Campus and Operations, Curriculum and Instruction, and Community and Culture. To learn more about this program visit Environmental Literacy Community of Practice.
  • Environmental Youth Leadership Network and Summits: The Environmental Youth Leaders Network (EYLN) brings together 7th-12th graders who are eager to make an environmental sustainability impact in their community. The network convenes for three annual summits in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. To learn more about EYLN please visit Environmental Youth Leadership Network and Summits.
  • One Planet Schools Challenge: This recognition and awards program fosters a culture of sustainability in school communities across the county by providing a structure and roadmap for achieving the vision of whole-school sustainability integration. The San Mateo County One Planet Schools Challenge identifies champions who are leading meaningful change and recognizes and/or awards them for their impact towards creating a sustainable future. To learn more about the One Planet Schools Challenge visit SMC One Planet Schools Challenge
  • Schools for a Sustainable Future Summit: This annual one-day summit creates the space for networking, problem-solving, and exchanging innovative solutions that are driving environmental and social transformation across school communities. To learn more about the summit visit Schools for a Sustainable Future Summit
  • SMELC Teacher Fellowships: The San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative (SMELC) is a series of PAID Teacher Fellowships that build teacher capacity for designing and delivering learning experiences that are student-centered, problem- and project-based, solutions-oriented, and integrate real-world environmental and social issues. To learn more about SMELC programs visit SMELC Teacher Fellowship Programs.


SMCOE's Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative has put together a number of resources to support stakeholders to be champions of whole-school sustainability integration. Utilize the links below to access resource pages for the following:

Andra Yeghoian

Environmental Education Coordinator

Email: ayeghoian@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5406