Getting Started with an Educational Program
It is important to decide what types of programs your group will offer. When picking topics, think about:
- Where will staff conduct the programs?
- Who will teach the programs?
- What types of supplies will be needed?
- Where will the organization obtain funding?
- Who will the programs be geared towards?
- What is the goal of programs?
Once an environmental program has been decided, a curriculum/lesson plan must be developed. Check the Online Curriculum Materials page for more curriculum ideas. Lesson plans should contain the following:
- Objectives that the lesson strives to meet
- Supplies needed to conduct lesson
- Description of activities
- Ages the lesson is geared toward
- Program length
- Evaluation tool to assess what the students learned
- The Core Curriculum Content Standards that it meets.
As the planning process occurs, keep a project budget to calculate how much money will be needed to cover all the costs of staff, supplies, transportation, and time. Once a budget is created, research the best funding opportunities:
- Local schools: schools may be willing to pay for education programs or materials
- Public programs: charging for the public to attend an event
- Grants: state, federal, & private grants offered to environment education programs.
A strong and successful education program should have the following:
- Program curriculum
- Staff to lead programs
- Contacts with schools
- Media contacts to advertise public programs via press releases
- Evaluation form for teachers for feedback.