Annual Summer Institute - Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

CELF 2021 Summer Institutes

Interactive, Interdisciplinary Virtual Professional Learning for K-12 Educators

Learn more about the 2021 Summer Institutes!

Download the Summer Institutes flyer here.

Education for Sustainability: Reflecting on What Matters — Registration Closed

This 3-day (7.5 hour) online institute will introduce how to apply education for sustainability as a lens for learning.  Participants will explore CELF’s Big Ideas of Sustainability Framework to identify ways to reflect on personal values and implement the big ideas into current teaching practices.  Digital tools will be explored to leverage student engagement in the hybrid classroom.  Teachers will walk away with a new or re-designed activity infused with the big ideas of sustainability ready to implement in the upcoming school year.

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action — Registration Closed

July 27-29 & August 3-5,
2:00 – 4:30 PM ET
This 6-day (15 hour) online institute will introduce CELF’s Inquiry to Action Framework within the context of your hybrid classroom. Participants will learn the skills and knowledge to develop a project to engage student learning through inquiry, place and action. Pathways to topics such as water, biodiversity and air will be explored. Teachers will walk away with an Inquiry to Action project planner ready to implement in the fall. 

Administrator Email Outreach

Use this letter template to communicate the value of this PD with your administration as a professional learning experience that will benefit not only you, but your school, district and community. Feel free to customize and use it to request approval to attend the Summer Institutes.

Reflecting on What Matters… What does Sustainability mean now? Moving Forward in Education

There is a sea change happening in K-12 education toward schools that genuinely engage all students in learning that addresses our global future in the areas of equity, social justice, and sustainability. CELF is supporting teachers as they reframe and reflect upon their teaching practices to ensure that our next generation is prepared with the systems-thinking mindset they’ll need to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

Learn More about the CELF Summer Institutes below:

The CELF 2021 Summer Institutes are going virtual again this summer! Each Institute offers standards-aligned, credit-based programming, geared towards a national audience of K-12 educators. This collaborative virtual experience will harness the imagination and energy of our educator community, preparing for the return to the real and/or hybrid classroom with a revitalized spirit in the fall. Reflection is important as we embark upon a new school year ahead. Participants will reflect on what matters most to them and redefine what sustainability means and looks like as a result of the pandemic. The 2021 Summer Institutes will inspire, educate, and reignite our collective commitment to educating for sustainability.

Register with your Team of Colleagues!

Interactive, in-depth, and self-paced, CELF’s online Institutes are designed for individual or school team participation that connect instructional practices to real-world applications and learning experiences.

Takeaways include:
  • Developed or redesign a lesson or activity with the integration of the big ideas of sustainability
  • Connect to a community of educators from across the country
  • Engage your students in civic science and action
  • Gain access to CELF’s Digital ToolKit of Resources
Education for Sustainability: Reflecting on What Matters

The first of CELF’s two session offerings this year is Education for Sustainability: Reflecting on What Matters. This will allow participants the choice to participate in either a morning or afternoon time frame that works best for them. Each session is 3 days / 7.5 hours.  

Registration for both 2021 EfS Summer Institute sessions have closed.

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action

CELF will also offer a 15 hour (6 days) session on Civic Science Inquiry to Action focused on applying a place and project based learning lesson into your hybrid classroom. Pathways to air and water quality, biodiversity and waste management will be explored.  

Registration for the 2021 Civic Science Summer Institute session has closed.

New this year… CELF in the Field!

CELF educators held field experiences in July! This opportunity allows participants to meet in-person to engage in nature-based learning. These events are optional for those able to access the site locations.

Earn PD Credit

Depending on your state, or district, you can earn PD credits for completing the CELF Summer Institute. In-service credits based on district policy.

New York PD CreditsTexas PD CreditsCalifornia PD Credits
Education for Sustainability: Continuing Teacher Leadership Education (CTLE) credits = 7.5 hoursEducation for Sustainability: Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits = 7.5 hours Education for Sustainability: LAUSD schools can apply for credits through the district
Civic Science Institute:
ASPDP = 2 credits for NYC teachers ONLY*
Continuing Teacher Leadership Education (CTLE) credits = 15 hours
Civic Science Institute:
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits = 15 hours
Civic Science Institute:
LAUSD schools can apply for credits through the district

*Click here for details about our ASPDP Summer Course (NYC teachers ONLY).

Straight from the Source: Participant Testimonial from Our 2020 Summer Institutes

In Partnership With:

CELF Summer Institute participants receive a 50% tuition discount on the Education for Sustainability (EfS) Advanced Certificate offered through the Manhattanville College School of Education.

Past Keynotes & Guest Speakers

Susan Kaiser Greenland

Author/Teacher of Mindfulness for Children

Kate Raworth

Economist, Oxford University

Dr. Bertie Simmons

Author/K-12 Changemaker 

Karen Banda 

Environmental Justice Leader

 Tammie Lang Campbell

Founder, Honey Brown Hope Foundation

Shar-Day Campbell

Award-winning Communications Strategist

Lynne Cherry

Author/Founder of Young Voices for the Planet

Jaysa Hunter-Mellers

Youth Climate Activist 

 Jaime Gonzalez

Houston Healthy Cities

Dr. Maida Galvez

Mount Sinai PEHSU

Luz Guel

Mount Sinai CEC

Tyler Knowlton

Plume Labs

David MacLean

Founder & President, McMac Cx

Past Participant Testimonials


From the beginning, CELF has embraced the value of in-person learning and hands-on support for educators. Over sixteen years of Summer Institutes, professional development workshops, and classroom visits have produced a vast knowledge base and built strong relationships with schools and districts across the country. Along the way, CELF has also innovated with online toolkits, resources and webinars, and that forward thinking is exactly what is called for now. 

See background on the in-person transformative CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability

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