UCSB Student-Founded Nonprofit Expands Statewide

Elementary Schools across California Welcome Youth-Teaching-Youth Environmental Education

Founded by 19 year-old social entrepreneur Ryland King, EENG kicked off its efforts in August of 2009 at an elementary school near the UC Santa Barbara campus. After expanding to 24 classrooms in 14 schools in Santa Barbara— and securing a $100,000 grant to take the program even further— King and the EENG team are poised for statewide expansion. This year, they expect to teach in at least 90 classrooms, reaching more than 2,300 1st and 2nd graders.

“We can’t wait to get our new chapters up and running, and to make an impact on as many kids as we possibly can this year” said King. “Our program provides not just environmental education, but also positive college-student role models that get kids excited about learning in general.”

EENG has selected highly qualified undergraduates at Cal Poly SLO, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of San Francisco to head up its new regional chapters. This year they’ll focus on bringing EENG’s unique 8-week unit, which features interactive activities and experiments meant to get kids thinking about the relationship between humans and the natural world, to as many classrooms as possible. Teams of five instructors will visit each classroom once a week, engaging students in small groups to ensure each program participant receives individual attention and is encouraged to actively engage the subject matter.

“The small group model and interactive curriculum are what sets EENG apart and makes the program so valuable,” said King. “All of the lessons present content closely aligned with the State Board of Education’s standards, but in a way that is fun for everyone involved. It’s a win-win for the 1st and 2nd graders, volunteer instructors, and teachers alike.”

For more information about EENG, please contact Nick Allen at (415) 710-5364 or by email at nickallen@eeng.org.


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