Old Dominion University will host an environmental expo conducted by The Center for Educational Partnerships' Southeastern Virginia Environmental Education (SEVEE) program on July 20.

This invitation-only event, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Innovation Research Park on Monarch Way, is part of the Chesapeake Bay Trust's (CBT) Outdoor Learning Network Initiative (OLNI) Program. The goal of the expo is to help teachers begin planning student-centered action projects designed to enhance environmental literacy and learn about organizations that offer or support environmental education programs.

The OLNI aims to advance environmental literacy goals by establishing local networks of school districts and organizations that are committed to partnering and working collectively to embed environmental education into school system curricula long term. The CBT collaborative network, the SEVEE Consortium, focuses on the integration of systemic environmental literacy at the school level.

ODU's Center for Educational Partnerships is working with Hampton City Schools, Newport News Public Schools, Norfolk Public Schools, Portsmouth Public Schools, Suffolk Public Schools and Williamsburg-James City Public Schools. The July 20 event is part of a weeklong professional development session for teachers in those districts. The Center for Educational Partnerships recently received a $150,000 grant from OLNI to support SEVEE network activities.

The OLNI offers network training and support to establish a local environmental literacy leadership team, develop an environmental literacy plan for school districts, establish new partnerships, provide teacher professional development training, and design and implement a systemic Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience program. The initiative is supported by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Local Concepts, as well as direct funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration over a two-year period.

Among the organizations that have committed to attend:

  • Elizabeth River Project
  • City of Suffolk
  • Virginia Living Museum
  • Virginia Zoo in Norfolk
  • James River Association
  • Green Teacher Magazine
  • Norfolk Botanical Garden
  • Pasco Scientific
  • Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation
  • Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center
  • ExploreLearning
  • City of Hampton Environmental Services
  • Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
  • Virginia Master Naturalist, Historic Rivers Chapter
  • Peninsula Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists
  • Tidewater Master Naturalists

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