Sustainable Schools Summit


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Our Vision

The Sustainable Schools Summit strives to create an inviting space and an accessible framework to undertake actionable social and environmental initiatives with a focus on meeting our present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.  The framework is focused on increasing environmental education, improving the health and wellness of school inhabitants, and minimizing the environmental impact of facilities in K-20 educational settings.  In particular, this Summit invites and empowers students to become stewards of their schools, communities, and planet by tackling local and global challenges.


registerbutton-bigOur theme this year is CULTIVATING PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUCCESS, and the Summit will include inspiring speakers, 16 workshops across two sessions, and an afternoon of Action Groups – small gatherings for participants to expand discussions, hatch new plans, collaborate, network and strategize. The day concludes with a celebration/reception with performances interpreting and reflecting back the events of the day – don’t miss it!



akiima-smallFor the past 20 years, Akiima has worked with numerous environmental organizations throughout the United States creating and implementing innovative programs that build bridges into low-income communities. Akiima is one of the leading African-American environmental educators in the country, helping to bring more capacity and inclusion to the environmental field. She is currently working through Cornell University on the EECapacity Project, the national environmental education training program of the EPA. Through her work on the project she is developing a national platform for emerging environmental educators and developing cutting-edge guidelines for an emerging practice called Community Environmental Education. Her specialty is engaging as a bridge builder between people and resources and developing thoughtful curricula and education materials that consider community wellness issues.

WORKSHOP SESSIONS (Youth friendly = YF   Youth Led = YL):

Environmental Literacy +
Sustainability Education

Inquiry Into Renewable Energy: Wind Power Kits – YF | Adults as Allies in Supporting Youth-Led Initiatives – YL | Understanding and Supporting Environmental Literacy in RI | Thinking Outside the Box: Innovations in Environmental Learning | It’s All About the Energy – YL | Teaching About the Environment Using Media and Pop Culture | Mapping Community Resources for School Initiatives – YF | Diversity, Renewability, and the Beauty in the Margins | Higher Ed Forum

Green + Healthy
School Buildings

Post-Occupancy Evaluation: Energy and Daylighting Performance | Dealing with Climate Change During Construction | Improving Recycling in Your School (and District!) – YF | Operation and Maintenance of School Facilities | How to Plan(t) a Raingarden – YL | Saving Energy in Schools: Community Commitment


This year’s awards will be presented along with the prize raffles for Indiegogo campaign supporters as we enjoy lunch provided by RIC Dining Services, known for their commitment to cooking with local, sustainably sourced foods.


Afternoon action groups are a time to process and reflect on the inspiring speakers and workshops of the mornings. Keynote speaker Akiima Price will gather people to try her community EE tools, people may gather to continue discussions raised at workshops, and people can gather to collaborate, form alliances and make action plans for work going forward. Some action groups will be pre-organized with facilitators, and there will also be a structured way for other groups to self-organize spontaneously. Cross pollination will abound!

Celebration and Performances

This year’s Summit features an unusual twist: visual and performing artists are embedded in the Summit to experience and interpret the day through their art media, and will present their work at the final celebration, reflecting back to us the good work we did as a whole. Don’t miss it!

 A Big THANK YOU to our Event Steward:logos-natgridAnd our supporting partners:logos-aramarklogos-RIC    logos-oerlogos-neepAnd our planning team!  logos-RIDElogos-stemlogos-reeia

The Sustainable Schools Summit is bringing together engaged communities throughout the region and from across sectors to build networks, gather resources, share best practices, and cultivate leadership skills for widespread environmental literacy adoption and implementation in the context of sustainable, healthy schools.