In our Resources section, which is password protected but you should have access, we now have a scan of key selections from the book No Citizen Left Behind which is part of our preparation for the April Institute. The .pdf file is one of the first items at the top of our Resources page.
I took a paragraph from this book and used it in two different ways with two different classes.  With my ESL class on comparative culture at SNHU, I had them respond to it in a PowerPoint presentation.  With my College Composition class at MCC, I had them respond to it in an essay for their midterm.  Here is the midterm with the paragraph I used:

Answer the question: what is a good citizen?  In your answer, respond to the following quote:

Can you be a good citizen if you don’t vote?  What if you vote, but are uninformed about most of the issues and candidates, or vote solely on the basis of a single issue?  How important is it to be law-abiding?  Is being economically self-sufficient a hallmark (or even a precondition) of good citizenship?  Is never being a burden on others enough to make one a good citizen? How should we judge the act of protesting injustice via civil disobedience against the act of sacrificing oneself on the battlefield for the good of the country?

From No Citizen Left Behind
by Meira Levinson

I got amazing results from both classes!  
As you prepare for our next Institute, some of the resources in this segment may prove to be thought-provoking as you consider ways to draw sustainability concepts into your courses.     
Source: School Nutrition
This 60 page magazine is full of ideas, program spotlights, leader highlights and kid-friendly ideas. Though some of the articles are set at the elementary level, there are certainly ways that ideas can translate across grade levels and communities.

The full text of School Nutrition is available here online. When you go to the page, notice the arrows in the upper center of the screen; these will take you through the document page by page. There are several other neat navigation features to check out - printing, sharing, etc.

New Hampshire Farm to School Program

Click the image below to be directed to the home page for the NH Farm to School Program. This vast resource provides resources, program examples, lists ways to get involved, and more useful links.
Source: NH Farm to School Program

National Farm to School Network

The excerpt below is from thr National Farm to School Network's own introduction. Of particular interest here may be their leadership model: not prescribing or imposing, but rather connecting and enriching the experience of local programs.
Source: NH Farm to School Network
I wanted to share an opportunity with you all!  I look forward to formally meeting everyone during our April Ins

Here is the link for details about this sustainability institute and application: 

Hello All:

This is a great program that immerses you in studying Gandhi and his impact on the world. I did it about 5 years ago and loved the two weeks in California. All it cost me was the plane ticket, some walk-around money, and tickets to the Hollywood Bowl. It was an 8 credit graduate course!!!

I would highlight the following

• Residential Fellowship. Successful participants will be awarded fellowships covering the costs of instruction plus room and board for two weeks, books and materials, and the use of Cal Poly Pomona Library.
• Course Credit, Professional Development and Career Advancement. The Fellowship award will also cover the cost of 8 units of course credits. These credits may be used toward a Master’s degree and/or salary advancement.

Call for Applications

Residential Summer Institute Fellowship for K-12 Educators

Gandhi, Sustainability and Happiness

Cal Poly Pomona
July 29-August 12, 2013

Application Deadline: Monday, April 8, 2013 Download the Program Flyer

Ahimsa Center’s 2013 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers—the fifth one in a series on education about nonviolence—will focus on Mohandas K. Gandhi, Sustainability, and Happiness. Gandhi’s enduring significance is anchored in his uncompromising commitment to ahimsa or nonviolence—the experience of oneness with others and nature--as the foundation for his vision of humanity, and for the well-being and happiness of all, which he called sarvodaya. Sustainability refers to the ability to sustain life, while maintaining an ecological balance that is rooted in caring for nature and caring for the needs of generations to come. Happiness endures in a solidly grounded sense of well-being, of flourishing, and of having found meaning and purpose in life. This two-week residential institute will focus on examining the relevance of Gandhi’s thought for the current discourses on sustainability and happiness.

This institute will provide a select group of forty K-12 educators an extraordinary opportunity for educational leadership by becoming adept at integrating in school curricula the lessons based on critical understanding of Gandhi’s life and its significance for achieving the goals of sustainability and enduring happiness.

For fellowship details, including selection criteria, and application procedure, visit

Applications will be accepted through Monday, April 8, 2013 and will be reviewed as they come in. Early application is strongly recommended.

For queries or additional information, please feel free to contact

Tara Sethia, Ph.D.
Director, Ahimsa Center
Professor of History
Cal Poly Pomona
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 869-3868

Also, if you're into LEGOS and have a teacher you can partner with, here's a grant that's due NEXT week....
We discussed the power of artifacts to draw student interest, and this recent article in the UNH Magazine (Winter 2013) shows a powerful and sustainable model. Through a combination of narrative and research-driven facts, the article outlines an exhibit that is much more than a static member of the "moth ball fleet." The dresses were originally collected to be used as hands-on models for student seamstresses. Today, they are a study in late 1800's society and enough has been documented about items in the collection that we can start to piece together some of the individual personality of the dress wearers. The article is posted as a .pdf in our Resources section.

There are so many directions this article excites thought - the first that comes to mind is the idea of having students bring one article of clothing that represents something about themselves, their experiences, their hopes and use it as a springboard into discussion and connections with character analysis (literature) or development (composition). Social Studies connections abound here, as well. What do durable styles and trends say about a people? How does clothing so carefully match economic and social status? What do the personal artifacts left behind say about what a culture valued - and which of your valued artifacts will exist in a hundred years, from which others may try to figure you out?

This article points out something bigger than the grabber-level attention-getting school scenario. The work involved is bigger than the exhibit; it's bigger than the students who get involved one way or another each term. By collecting, studying, and making these artifacts accessible to students of all walks, the leaders mentioned in Harrigan's article are part of a sustainable effort. There is material, interest, momentum, and significance to their work. Keeping the material relevant to today's scholars helps keep the "curriculum" related to the "clothes" lifeted up to a sustainable level. When we consider sustainable curriculum and sustainable culture, this is the sort of durability that makes a powerful model
                                                                                                                                          Amanda Eason,
Nostalgia for the Light proved to be an interesting addition to my pre-Spring Break "sales pitch" for the  required research paper in my English Composition course. We watched the movie together, with the sound low enough that I was able to do a running commentary where needed. Talking them through ideas seems to help keep them focused, and imparts some value on the viewing, as well. I pre-loaded the viewing with a discussion of essential questions How do we appreciate what we consume? and How do we appreciate what consumes us? which we will tie right into topic selection for the research paper after Spring Break. Introducting the movie also meant letting them know I was aware that some folks might lable this a "sleeper" but that I felt the ideas are important enough to share. They bought into the idea pretty well for first year college students :) The PBS Viewing Guide provided some nice quotes with pertinent questions, of which I selected 5 to be the focus of team work after viewing. The movie definitely got them thinking, and I can only hope their writing about it is as good as their discussions after viewing! ....we'll share that later...
Amanda Eason

What a great idea, Amanda!  My English Composition class has already chosen their research paper topics, but this is a great idea for the Fall sustainability unit!
Rita Mac Auslan

March 18th - a few reflections to share with you

So, after reviewing some of the responses, I grabbed three to share with you-all. It's SO interesting to see how students react to and reflect upon something like Nostalgia for the Light. Some take it at the literal level - pushing to make connections. Others jump right into the abstract, lighting fires as they go :)
As you look at these, please do keep in mind that there are NOT drafted pieces - and are reflections of first-year community college students based on questions presented to them in class.
Click here for Student A response
Click here for Student B response
Click here for Student C response
We began day two of our 2 1/2 day first institute (after a wonderful tour of James Hall and the Scheier displays at Dimond Library on the UNH campus) this morning with participants sharing artifacts they use in their teaching. Teachers and faculty talked about curricula they use, assignments they've given to students, media they use to inspire (like NPR's This I Know), even rocks they've collected from hikes. The diversity of the artifacts was fascinating, but all showed how participants are developing purposeful curricula to engage their students in big issues and topics but in ways that connect to them personally - stories, passport boxes, films, etc. The compassion the participants have for their students is evident.

Questions came out that are tied directly to sustainability: how do we help our students learning to trust, how do we help create a sense of place and community with our students, what stories help connect students to larger issues and questions? These questions are crucial and will lead us into the rest of the day.

I tried to put it in the resources, but I'm pretty website illiterate..  
If you haven't seen these books, we should check them out--to get ideas, see what others are doing, and avoid reinventing the wheel so to speak.
I have one of the 'Making Connections' books I can bring in. I've only used it once.. and it was an extension activity because my classes were thrown off by testing.  So I'm thinking that's one area we/I need to figure out: how this can fit in to the 'official' curriculum.
-Sam Perron
Our very first institute is March 1-3, 2013, on the UNH Durham campus, and we are excited to have you on board for this journey.

This blog is for SLC participants to share what they are learning, ask and answer each other's questions, share ideas, and reflect on the entire process of designing sustainability pedagogy, curricula and assessment strategies for their classrooms. 

SLC participants: this is YOUR website and YOUR blog! Start writing, start challenging yourself and each other, and we'll take these ideas and questions and use them at future institutes. You can use them as well as you develop your pedagogy, curricula and assessments.

We at the Sustainability Institute at UNH are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and learn from you. Sustainability is a big idea. It demands collaboration, a transdisciplinary perspective, and many, many hearts and minds working together to make it happen. We thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to be part of this new project. We know we will learn so much from each of you, building relationships that last well beyond the life of this project and that will push sustainability forward for our students, the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Welcome to our sustainability learning community!

Sara Cleaves, UNHSI