In September 2013, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) successfully competed for a Sustainable DC Innovation Grant to begin implementation of the DC Environmental Literacy Plan. DOEE worked with three nonprofit organizations, the Anacostia Watershed Society, DC Environmental Education Consortium, and DC Greens, to launch the Sustainable DC Model Schools project. The first step was to develop the Environmental Literacy Framework (ELF), a guide that provides a suggested sequence of place-based applications of science content. Informed by experienced District teachers and aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations, the ELF includes environmental contexts for learning and guiding questions designed to scaffold content appropriate to each grade level. Based on themes taken from the Sustainable DC Plan, sustainability initiatives provide starting points for in-depth investigations and suggestions for extending learning beyond the classroom.
The ELF was piloted at eight Sustainable DC Model Schools during School Year 2014-15. Schools are encouraged to adopt the ELF to develop their own school-based environmental literacy implementation plans.