Summer Institute for Elementary School Teachers and Curriculum Coordinators: Connecting Children with Nature and Community

July 18 - 20, 2016

July 21, 2016: Optional fourth day for curriculum development support

Location: Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

The CELF Summer Institute for Elementary Grades gives teachers, librarians and administrators the chance to explore strategies that make sustainability learning relevant, local and fun!

Gain a deeper understanding of the principles of sustainability in grades K-5, and find engaging ways to integrate sustainability education into your own curriculum.

Bring Sustainability Education to Your Classrooms

Participants in CELF’s Summer Institute will learn to:

  • Integrate sustainability content and themes into existing math, social studies, science and ELA curricula, and tie sustainability education to New York State standards
  • Improve teaching and learning through interdisciplinary units and inquiry-based curricula, using the school building and grounds
  • Connect students with nature and the outdoors, including the school grounds, the school community, and nearby parks and green spaces
  • Involve students in applying their learning to real situations through positive actions
  • Help students learn to make connections across subject lines by researching, analyzing and solving problems

The Institute will introduce teachers to case studies and curriculum exemplars from schools around the country.

Participants will outline a curriculum makeover and develop a plan to integrate it within their existing scope and sequence. Redesign curriculum lessons or units independently or in grade-level groups. Get feedback from presenters, who will share lesson plans and curricular materials for out-of-the-box use.


The CELF Summer Institute for Elementary Grade Levels is offered in collaboration with:

Shelburne Farms

an environmental education center located on a 1,400-acre working farm in Vermont. It is nationally recognized for its work in place-based sustainability and agricultural education.

Manhattanville College School of Education

whose mission is to educate students to become ethically and socially responsible leaders for a global society.


Get Ongoing CELF Support

Once educators have completed the Institute, all participants may access the Workshop Resources on a password-protected CELF website resource page, in addition to our free resources available to the public.

Critical Concepts and Subject Knowledge Covered

  • Interdependence and systems thinking
  • Needs versus wants
  • Connection to and love of place
  • Natural resources and limits
  • Food systems—natural and cultural cycles
  • Social and biological diversity

“CELF's presentation made me ask myself, "Why WOULDN'T we want to refer to issues of sustainability in our instruction?" ... Sustainability education is SO possible to integrate into existing curricula and other efforts. I'm convinced--and on my end, I'll be working with colleagues to explore how to bring life to sustainability education in our district.”

Katonah-Lewisboro School District Administrator

Download the 2016

Learn About
CELF Outcomes

See exciting curriculum concepts developed by participants in the Summer Institutes»

Summer Institute online registration»



The Edith Winthrop Teacher Center




Contact: Katie Ginsberg

Group discounts available!


Copyright 2014. Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation. All Rights Reserved. CELF-taught is a Service Mark of CELF.