This section shares quotes and testimony from clients (schools and organizations) we've worked with, as well as individual teachers and students in our programs.
Ypsilanti Public Schools (2003)
Note: Creative Change implemented a range of sustainability programs with the Ypsilanti Public Schools between 2001-2004.
"All professional development that Creative Change provided has been met with great enthusiasm. Challenging content is delivered through multiple instructional methods, thereby modeling effective teaching practice. Creative Change staff work collaboratively with our teachers and staff, and have an in-depth understanding of the many needs that teachers have in today's educational environmental. The on-going support has helped teachers integrate social justice and democratic values across the content areas." -- administrator, Ypsilanti Public Schools, 2003
Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF)
Note: Creative Change has been partnering with CELF since 2005 to present its annual Summer Institute for Sustainability Education. This collaboration has enabled Creative Change to work with New York districts, including the Scarsdale Public Schools. The quotes below reflect the work done through this partnership:
"CELF and CCES have evolved as a synergistic team with complementary skill sets and shared philosophy about approaches to advancing Sustainability Education. Our partnership on the CELF Summer Institute has proven very successful over the past three years with participation doubling and requests from several school districts and independent schools for additional staff development from one or both organizations. It is a pleasure to work with an organization with a unique combination of qualities - expertise, integrity, and commitment." -- Katie Ginsberg, Executive Director, CELF
Scarsdale Public Schools (on Creative Change's work and the partnership with CELF):
"I had high expectations (hopes) for the week and am happy to report that your program exceeded my highest expectations. You have inspired, challenged and equipped us for tremendous school year filled with sustainability education programs for our students. Your knowledge, energy, commitment and teaching skill are unbelievable (and unparalleled). You have certainly helped our teachers develop curriculum and lessons appropriate for their programs and given them the knowledge and tools they need to be successful."
The quotes below are from teachers who have participated in a range of Creative Change programs. Quotes are grouped by program.
Quotes about Our Town, our program on sustainable communities (See also quantitative results of this program)
- "We've had lively discussions so far. I have also noticed that many [students] hadn't even thought that we could plan to change things for the better. I'm liking it already!" high school teacher, Dexter Michigan
- "This is perfect! I have been looking for a more effective way to teach about the local community, and this is it!" I learned so much and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The experience that was informative, interactive, and practical." --high school teacher
- "You may never know the full extent of how this program will impact students planning more for renewing their communities, but I can promise you it will be substantial. Many, many thanks."
- "I really appreciate how the curriculum uses a multi-disciplinary approach to a complex issue and how the curriculum encourages critical thinking. Integrated curriculum is essential for social science teachers to be able to teach the policy aspects of ecology."
- "The curriculum provides a way of drawing in and challenging the whole spectrum of kids. The lessons are very adaptable and useful."
- "I can't believe the way these lessons are put together-so thorough, so complete. Outstanding!"
Teacher Testimony: Taste of Change (food systems program)
- "I've been to alot of workshops and this one is one of the best! It's very current, very integrated, well-organized and interesting." -- high school science teacher, Michigan
- This is a fantastic integration of content that is logical and accessible to students. Thank you!" -- college instructor, California
- "The unit exceeded my expectations as to what I thought the students would learn with it." --middle school science teacher, Michigan
Teacher Testimony: Economics for the Common Good
- "I must say that students might look at their world with different eyes having the knowledge they now have." -- middle school language arts teacher, Michigan
- "I had students who didn't do anything all year. This was the only unit that really engaged them." -- middle school special education teacher
- "It's been several years since we did this program, but every time I run into a student, they still talk about it. The learning has endured and made a positive impact on their lives. Thank you!" - high school teacher
Teacher Testimony: The Ecological Footprint program
Note: In 2004, Creative Change partnered with Redefining Progress (Oakland, CA) to develop a series of lessons and teacher education modules on the Ecological Footprint. These materials were disseminated to educators in California through a "train the trainers" model that prepared teacher educators from regional universities to work with high school social studies teachers. The comments below are from the teachers in this program.
- "After a year of searching for that formula and finding tidbits here and there, the Footprint has given me a focus around which I have built an entire unit called ‘The Impact of Human Societies'. The materials from the workshop have made this Geography unit much more relevant and interesting to students and myself. We have not only focused on the impact of human behavior, but also possible solutions so that students can also see that their choices will continue to have an impact."
- "These activities are well-organized and explain sustainability issues clearly. They don't require vast amounts of preparation time and allow for student critical thinking skills."
- "My ‘aha!' was clarity in my understanding of the finite, measurable amount of land and resources that can sustain humans."
- "In World History, explaining the interconnectedness of the world with the Ecological Footprint was easy to explain. Students understood how connected the US is with other countries and their economies."
- "Traditionally, I have in the past, used a format to teach the Industrial Revolution using lecture notes, textbook readings & handouts, and video. But none of these addresses the ecological concerns in better detail and command, as with the use of the Ecological Footprint."
- "Once I introduced the Footprint, [students] had to rethink everything they had learned about economic systems from natural resources, to labor practices, to distribution and consumerism."
- "By looking at global issues such as population and inequity, the EF has really helped me to make geography interesting and relevant. The most exciting part is that they still get it. "Ecological Footprint" is a part of each of my students' vocabulary."
- "The Footprint lends itself to comparisons between the past and the present. This will allow me a better integration of past events into students' thinking about the world they live in... students made connections they might not otherwise have made."
Teacher Testimony: All Together Now
- "If we are to end racism, we will need to start with our youth-with programs like this one."
- "The course was engaging, effective, and much-needed. More students should experience it." - high school teacher, Ann Arbor Michigan
- "In Michigan, the social studies curriculum is on Core Democratic Values. This program helps develop Core Democratic Values such as The Common Good, Justice, Truth, Equality, Diversity, and Patriotism," -- social studies teacher.
- "This program also is an excellent opportunity for students to practice Career and Employability Skills, such as teamwork, personal management, and problem-solving."
- "Usually we just find the right answer in a book. For this, we had to think." ninth grade student at Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor), on a six-week Economics for the Common Good unit
- "This made science fun. Now I know about the energy used to make things and why we learn physics." -- 7th grade student on Sustainable by Design
- Quote from a parent on the same program: "My daughter was enthralled by this program. It was the only thing that really engaged her at school."
High school student quotes about Our Town, our program on sustainable communities:
- "I've lived in this community my entire life, but this was the first time I actually got to learn about it."
- "I learned about land use decisions, how they are made, and what citizens can do. I didn't even know we could make a difference. I guess I hadn't thought of it before."
- "I remembered that from 7th grade I played Simcity and they had different zoning, and I never really understood what that was about, and then now we are talking about it and I can see how it's evident in all types of different cities."
- "You gotta use the land in a way that it can recover, and you can't just cover the whole thing with a parking lot and build houses all over it; it doesn't really work."
- "I always like presenting, so [I really enjoyed] the parts when we did like groups and each took a part of zoning, like one took farms, one took schools and stuff like that. I like presenting in groups and taking notes and just learning about everything there is to learn about zoning....I pretty much liked everything."
Note: The following quotes are from 5th-6th grade students in NY. Their teacher developed and implemented a course on food systems as a result of participating in the 2006 CELF Summer Institute for Sustainability Education, facilitated by Creative Change. As part of evaluation, students were asked to write what they learned, and to raise additional questions.
- "The most important thing I learned in your class is a word called ‘interdependence.' This word means thing are depending on each other. One other thing I thought was interesting was how dead animals decompose."
- "I learned that if one part of a system is not working, the whole thing won't work because of their interdependence. Interdependence means that we all depend on each other." -
- "I learned that CO2 is important because trees and plants use it along with the sun and water to make sugar, which gives them the energy to release the oxygen for humans and others to breathe. But too much carbon dioxide, methane and other gases are contributing to climate change."
- "These lessons were fun. One thing I thought was interest was that the usage of oil and gas started in the Industrial Revolution. Burning fossil fuels gives off C0s and it gets trapped in the atmosphere. Trees can absorb CO2, but the problem gets worse if we cut down too many trees. My question is, Why don't people think about what is happening?"
- "My question is, What will happen when we run out of oil and gas?"
- "One question I have is, Why don't more people care about things that are so important?"