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Teaching the Environment

This summer's Teaching the Environment program is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place we are offering virtual & in-person professional development opportunities. See here for more!

Teaching the Environment is a week-long intensive environmental studies program for educators working with children in early childhood and elementary, middle, and high school settings. Set on the banks of the Hudson River in downtown Yonkers at the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak and Sarah Lawrence College campus, this collaborative program will have an interdisciplinary curriculum including hands-on workshops and field trips to Hudson River community-based organizations. Under the theme of Discovering Urban Landscapes, the program will feature experiential workshops ranging from the arts to physical and social sciences.

In collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, this professional development program fulfills the requirements of their Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve's Teacher on the Estuary Program. The Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) program is a research and field-based teacher training initiative to improve teachers' and students' understanding of the environment using local examples and to provide resources and experience that support the incorporation of estuary and watershed topics into classroom teaching.

The program will include:

  • Small working groups meeting throughout the week to discuss readings and share their reflections and practices
  • Dialogue with experts in the field including Sarah Lawrence College faculty, Center for the Urban River at Beczak staff, and guest presenters
  • A series of experiential workshops that are both stimulating and fun
  • Field trips to environmental-focused and Hudson River organizations
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum centered around urban environments
  • A chance to reflect, experience, and collaborate in beautiful relaxed environments
  • Compilation of environmental education teaching resources
  • An opportunity to become part of an informal network of fellow educators

Sarah Lawrence College is an Approved CTLE Sponsor and offers CTLE hours for this program.

Scholarships are available for New York City Public School Teachers through a grant from the Seth Sprague Education and Charitable Foundation. For more information, call the Child Development Institute at 914.395.2630 or e-mail

For additional details on workshops and faculty, please visit: