Starting from Scratch

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
  • References
  • 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.
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