Where education, communities and ecosystems thrive.
OAEC’s Resilient Schools Program supports public school districts serving vulnerable populations in designing long-term ecological, economic and bio-cultural resilience into their classroom curriculum, campus environment, and surrounding community. We focus on school-based Resilient Community Design because we believe in the power of public educational institutions – incubators of the next generation of community leaders and systems designers – to serve as hubs for ecological literacy, inter-generational engagement, and cross-sectoral collaboration of interdependent stakeholders co-designing their own thriving community.
What is a Resilient School?
Imagine your local public school as a model of sustainability: efficient renewable energy sources, hydrologically literate water management, school garden and local farm meals cooked from scratch in the cafeteria, zero-waste systems, and low carbon emission transportation. You can achieve these goals through community organizing — gather the stakeholders of your community to engage in democratic decision-making, collaborative funding, and participatory systems design that meets the academic, economic and climate needs of a community that is pursuing health and well-being now and for the generations to come. Learn more on our blog >
This training for teams of district employees, local government agency officials, business owners, community-based organizations and neighborhood leaders re-imagines educational institutions as resiliency hubs for the wider community.
Build your team to learn about the fundamentals of designing a sustainable school – from facilities to curriculum – and the community organizing skills necessary to facilitate the process.
Our flagship training empowers educators to weave ecological literacy into their living learnscapes. The training is for teams of teachers, garden coordinators, administrators and core parent volunteers from a specific school or district.
Whether you are imagining your school garden design or years into the process, you will gain hands-on experience and curricular inspiration for a vibrant living learnscape.
As we navigate a just transition through climate disruption, OAEC’s Resilient Schools Program supports whole communities to cultivate a reverential relationship with place – whether you find yourself in an urban context, suburban sprawl, a rural community or anywhere in between.
As we are all interconnected to place and natural systems, the intentional exploration of our relationships to our home leads to an increased capacity for supporting local people, places and systems. By cultivating ecoliteracy – the understanding of our relationship to place – across sectors, regions and generations, we foster community resilience: the capacity to thrive in response to changing conditions over time.
Our mission is to empower school communities to better address their own needs – as well as the needs of their wider community – by facilitating a collaborative design process to connect the often fragmented layers of academic standards, administrative mandates, financial constraints, facilities design and the sociocultural experience of the people who comprise a school community.
We build the capacity of school communities to facilitate themselves through a process yielding empowered, engaged and ecologically literate members fiercely dedicated to ecological justice and community resilience through four core projects.