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The Sheli Fund [The Green Network]


ACBP's Tochnit Karev (Project Involvement) teamed with the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership, creating the GREEN NETWORK. The Network has become a leader in changing the paradigm of environmental education - encouraging schools, teachers and community groups to network and form relevant learning programs, while allowing young people to be a catalyst for social and environmental activism on the local and regional level.

The GREEN NETWORK currently embracesover 100schools across Israel and has formed a variety of dynamic structures that constitute the backbone of its activity:

School- Based Environmental Initiatives - the GREEN NETWORK offers small grants to schools to cultivate grassroots environmental work (5,000 NIS each, in 2002-2003) including: recycling centers in schools, water conservation, composting, organic gardens and local environmental campaigns.Building Regional Networks - 11 local networks have evolved within the larger network, where several schools in each community work together to maximize impact and cooperation.The Annual National Conference for Environmental Education - Founded by the Network in conjunction with a growing forum of organizations, the conference unites teachers and environmental groups to network and advance the "cutting edge" of environmental education in Israel.

"The Earth is in Our Hands"- Environmental Education Journal This essential resource for teachers and educationalists has been enthusiastically received. Modeled after the noted Green Teacher, each issue relates to concerns such as the environment and democracy, global warming, consumption, redesigning schoolyards, and how teachers can implement new ideas and programs.

Young Environmentalists' Conference This is a joint event with the SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel). Over 300 young people from over 50 schools meet to learn about environmental issues and how to become activists. Last year, the Network ran 10 smaller regional conferences across the country. Children met, learned and offered joint solutions to local environmental dilemmas. This led up to the National Young Environmentalists' Conference in Jerusalem where children visited the Knesset and present questions and concerns to elected representatives.

A Community of Teachers - "Havurat Morim"- Building Leadership for Environmental Education An intensive track for 15 teachers and educational professionals, who study two days a month at the Heschel Center.

After two seasons, graduates are leading and initiating new projects in environmental education. Networking Tools- Website, Programs, Workshops The Network builds forums to disseminate information and know-how in the field of environmental education and sustainable living. It also sponsors and runs dozens of workshops and study groups across the country for teachers and educationalists. The GREEN NETWORK plans to expand networking among teachers and environmental groups with their new website. Reaching new areas and age groups - The GREEN NETWORK is currently piloting an environmental program in over 30 pre-school and kindergartens in conjunction with Tochnit Karev. Reshet programs are expanding this year into junior and senior high schools and to the south of Israel and Jerusalem. Synergy and cooperation with Tochnit Karev- This includes training and joint ventures with regional coordinators as well as upgrading the current enrichment programs to increase environmental education hours in the schools.

Creating a lobby for change in environmental education - The GREEN NETWORK has set the stage for a broad-based coalition of environmental educators and organizations to influence policy change and engender a priority shift for environment and sustainability within the Israeli education system. This has begun to bear fruit in what appears to be greater interest on the part of the Ministry of Education for
broader implementation of environmental education.