We want to encourage and help teachers to find and share effective ways to integrate climate and sustainability concepts in their classrooms—in ways that will enrich and enhance the classes and help meet learning goals. Sustainability concepts are inherently complex and well-served by interdisciplinary approaches, so we welcome ideas on how that could work in every subject, at every grade level. Alliance for Sustainable Communities
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Project coordinator: Peter Crownfield
In collaboration with the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.
Alliance for Sustainable Communities
1966 Creek Road
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone 484 – 893 – 0475
About the Alliance for Sustainable Communities – Lehigh Valley
Vision, Mission, and Goals: For a more detailed discussion of these topics, see our Declaration of Principles.
- Vision: We envision a sustainable, regenerative society, based upon enduring wisdom and careful stewardship. We envision a future characterized by a self-healing environment, honorable and ethical behavior, self-determination, and secure freedoms for a diverse people.
- Mission: The Alliance is dedicated to working for community sustainability. This will involve holistic approaches to the environment, social justice, health, participatory democracy, and local economies. We are committed to active, collaborative approaches to achieving long-term positive outcomes.
- Goals: To create more equitable and livable communities the Alliance and its members work to:
- Protect the natural environment on which our communities depend
- Protect and extend fundamental rights and opportunities throughout the range of human diversity
- Promote broad, meaningful participation in decision-making to advance community interests and ensure that communities can assert their rights as a higher priority than those corporations claim for themselves
- Foster strong local economies that provide secure and fulfilling livelihoods, foster enjoyable community life, work in harmony with nature, and strengthen the viability of independent local businesses and farms
- Encourage people to consume food that is whole, locally produced, and grown in ways that sustain and rebuild soil, water, wildlife, vegetation, and the lives of all of us
- Promote discussion, education, and understanding of ways to maximize the health of individuals and communities
By working towards these goals, the Alliance works to accomplish the broader purpose that led to its formation in 2003.
Website Creation Credits & Acknowledgements
This project was made possible by the efforts of many people, including volunteers and students in the Alliance’s internship program. We’d like to give special thanks to Rachel Rubino (Lafayette College ’17), who helped shape initial directions for the project, and Megan Heintz (University of Pittsburgh ’18), who spent a summer helping develop background material, additional resources for teachers, and the spreadsheet-based GHG Calculator itself.
We also want to thank staff members and teachers from the Bethlehem Area School District and the Seven Generations Charter School (Emmaus, PA) who helped shape our thinking and provided ideas that helped us develop this project. We also had the benefit of discussions with faculty members in the education and science departments at Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and Moravian College.
In the fall of 2016, we finalized the initial version of the Calculator and this guide with invaluable help from student volunteers, including Ran Cao (Lafayette ‘19) and Casey Banta-Ryan, Courtney Cohen, and Christina Lyons (Lafayette ’20). Alliance co-founder Martin W. Boksenbaum played a key role in completing the Interdisciplinary Teaching on Climate & Sustainability guide.
This project draws on earlier work by intern Lindsay Meiman (Lehigh ’14), who developed the Climate and Sustainability Commitment adopted by the Bethlehem Area School District in 2014, in which they pledged to integrate climate and sustainability in curriculum and student activities, in facilities and operations, and in community engagement. Over the following summer, Christina Cilento, (Northwestern ’17) and Nicole Karsch (Muhlenberg ’16) developed dozens of ideas for ways to implement the commitment, with additional assistance from Hannah Brosky (Lehigh ’18).
Indigenous Land Acknowledgment
Recognizing the Original Inhabitants of This Area – We are located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a small part of what was Lenni-Lenape territory for over 10,000 years. We understand that the Lenape were friendly and accommodating — until the settlers gradually, and often violently, forced them out. We acknowledge the injustice and mistreatment indigenous people faced (and still face) as a result of colonialism. We recognize that the Lenape practiced many of the same values the Alliance holds, including respect for and regenerative stewardship of the land and other living things, eating healthy natural foods, social justice, and restorative practices, and community-based participatory decision-making.
The largest surviving groups of Lenape descendants are the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma and the Delaware Indian Tribe, but there are several other significant groups and organizations, including the Ramapaugh Mountain Lenape and the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania.
The number of groups, their wide dispersal, and their continuing identification with the Lenape are pretty clear indicators of the extent to which colonialism disrupted a strong Indigenous civilization in this area, paralleling impacts in other parts of the US and the continent as a whole.
We want to be clear that acknowledging and recognizing the Lenape in no way remedies or repairs the damage done; it is merely a step towards raising awareness.
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