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Newsday: Summer Workshop has Teachers Thinking Green

By James Bernstein

Teachers spend about 10 months a year in a classroom, so it would seem the last place they would want to spend time during summer vacation is in another classroom.

Yet 45 teachers from various school districts on Long Island gave up a week's vacation this month in hopes that their students will one day pursue careers in green industries, and help Long Island build a green industry.

For the second year, National Grid and Molloy College of Rockville Centre offered a program aimed at teaching teachers how to teach green subjects.

Summer workshop has teachers thinking green

The National Grid Foundation, the energy company's philanthropic arm, donated $35,000 for the program, and Molloy's Sustainability Institute at the college's campus in East Farmingdale helped create the curriculum. The program attracted 15 more teachers this year than last.

Bob Keller, the foundation's president, estimates that about 20,000 school kids could be instructed in green programs over the next five years as a result of the one-week course, which concluded last week.

"We want to inspire kids to pursue a green career," he said. "The only way they're going to get a chance to do that, given all the budgetary issues school districts have these days, is bringing in a program like this."

Neal Lewis, the Sustainability Institute's executive director, said the course was very "hands on." The teachers, Lewis said, studied ways of making a solar collector and worked on wind projects.

Francis Amendola, a science teacher at Deer Park High School, attended the program this year and last. "It basically teaches how to live a green life," Amendola said.

Yolanda Biggs, who teaches envir onmental courses at Uniondale High School, said she will be incorporating what she learned in the course into her teaching programs this fall.

"I'd gladly give up another week [off] to learn more," she said.

Go Ahead

  • The Sustainability Institute Long Island’s first housing sustainability education venture and policy analysis in an academic institution offering bachelor's degrees on Long Island.