Community Partnership Project Community Partnership Project - 20 hours Minimum of 20 hours The Community Partnership Project provides candidates with the opportunity to lead a partnership that will have a positive and lasting effect on the community* and that will increase environmental awareness and understanding. * A community can be defined as a group of persons with common characteristics such as geographic, professional, cultural, racial, religious or socio-economic similarities; communities can be defined by location, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, interest in particular problems or outcomes, or other common bonds. It also gives the candidate practical experience applying what they have learned as an environmental educator. This component of the certification process should include the following key elements: Leadership - you are the primary coordinator, planner and leader of the project. Partnership - you must work with at least one community partner other than your own school, agency or workplace. Community Need - you must identify a need that your project will address. Community Participation - your effort should engage members of a community and produce a project, event or program that will benefit that community and that will increase environmental awareness and understanding. Relationship to the Objectives of Environmental Education your project should address at least one of the five main objectives of environmental education: awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, participation. (Refer to the Tbilisi Declaration in the Basics of EE – Independent Study.) *Note: While the partnership project can be located at your place of work, it must be a project that that goes beyond your assigned duties, job description and/or work plan. Also, you must initiate and manage the partnership project. You are required to contact the office before beginning your project to make sure it meets all the program criteria. Examples of Successful Community Partnership Projects A parent volunteer learned from teachers at a local elementary school that there was interest in integrating environmental education into their lesson plans using an outdoor area. The parent worked with PTA members and with an environmental educator at a nearby nature center to develop a manual and workshop to help those teachers use their schoolyard as an outdoor classroom. The parent worked with the environmental educator to conduct the workshop for the school’s teachers. The candidate met with the neighborhood association to identify an environmental need in their community. They determined that the neighborhood had a problem with residents using the storm drains for dumping trash, paint and other polluting substances. The candidate partnered with the neighborhood association to stencil neighborhood storm drains with an educational message and distribute materials to residents explaining the project and its purpose. The candidate contacted a city park near their home and found out that the park had a trail that needed restoration and signage. The candidate worked with a local Boy Scout troop and the park ranger to restore a section of trails and install interpretive signs at the park. The candidate worked with the local community to publicize the newly restored trails. For examples of previous community partnership projects, visit the N.C. Certified Environmental Educator Blog.