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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Creative Change Educational Solutions, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Environment, Environmental Education, Intergroup & Race Relations, Race

Mission: Creative Change Educational Solutions is a nonprofit organization advancing educational leadership and transformation through a lens of sustainability. We help educational institutions use renewable energy, brownfields redevelopment and other sustainability sectors as platforms for instructional innovation and delivering on the promise of educational equity. Creative Change is the bridge between educational institutions and sustainability leaders in business, government and academia. Founded by teachers, CCES is now a dynamic network of educators, organizations and leaders from green business sectors. We serve leading educators who understand the ethical need to educate for a greener economy, revitalized communities and a more stable society. Creative Change’s mission is to provide innovative education that helps create a sustainable world: a healthy environment, a fair economy, and a just and equitable society.

Results: Program evaluations show consistent and positive results on both students and teachers, with increases in: Students’ and teachers interdisciplinary content knowledge. Students’ understanding of how coursework is linked to their lives and communities. Students’ abilities to connect learning to real-world problems and issues. Teachers’ use of effective practices and integration of community issues.

Geographic areas served: National

Programs: Creative Change offers scaled packages of planning, professional development, curriculum, and support for each of the following programs: Ecological Footprint, Economics, Energy, Our Town, Sustainable by Design, Taste of Change, All Together Now

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is awesome stuff, just what we need in our schools--integrated accross many discplines and tied together around fundamental issues of fairness, sustainability and rational resource use.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Change offers a unique kind of curriculum to schools and teachers. Their lessons teach students to think about the big picture, to apply concepts and skills learned to real-life situations, and to engage in issues of sustainability in a very real and immediate way. My students understood the concepts introduced in the food systems unit and have continued asking questions about where their food comes from and how that affects people and the environment. I would love to see this incredible organization get more funding so they can write more curriculum and continue to train teachers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Change has allowed me to gain access to an extensive library of instructional resources. The lessons, readings, and activities are well-planned, thorough, and informative. I highly recommend Creative Change materials.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Creative Change Educational Solutions is truly a dynamic organization dedicated to helping educators at all levels have a deep and meaningful conversation about our communities and the environment and how we are involved in shaping them. It demonstrates and fosters the very best in teaching and learning -- empowerment, investment in the process, excitement about learning and critical thinking. The tools, curriculum and support provided by Creative Change are unmatched.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was recently asked to join the board of CCES. I am honored to serve in this capacity for an organization that is doing critical work in field of education. CCES addresses in a concrete and substantive way the pressing question, “How do we engage students and teachers in meaningful work?” Many teacher educators, teachers and students want to be engaged in work that is intellectually challenging, personally relevant, and applicable to the real world. For teacher educators and teachers it can be a challenge to negotiate the tensions between engaging students in meaningful work and meeting the expectations of state and national policies. CCES provides curriculum materials and program professional development packages that facilitate teachers’ context specific efforts to make and sustain meaningful curricular and pedagogical changes. What is particularly exciting about the work is that it isn’t a canned program that is imposed on teachers. Teachers are expected to actively draw from their own knowledge and skill base to work with the materials to create something that is workable in their particular context. This approach shows a respect for teachers as knowledgeable and skilled professionals who can create amazing opportunities for students when they have access to quality materials and professional development. Students also benefit because these materials focus on deep understanding. Students learn that academic disciplines are interconnected through working on topics that are interdisciplinary. They also come to understand real world problems and how to think through possible solutions to them. Susan Santone’s passion for this work is contagious, and I look forward to seeing the work of CCES become more broadly embraced by educators across the nation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work with Creative Changes Educational Solutions, Inc. during my time as a K-12 Science and Mathematics Specialist for our local district. Not only did Susan Santone deliver high quality professional development to our teachers in sustainable education, she came along for the ride with the teachers and students. She was available for consultation with teachers, she worked directly in classrooms, and she provided materials and information that was cutting edge for us. Susan also introduced the Human Rights and Intercultural Communication class at our high school. This program was written in conjunction with the United Nations Global Teaching and Learning Project. Our high school was the only only one in the country to pilot this program. The teachers involved were amazed at the high quality of materials and lessons. The students in our very diverse high school (over 30 different languages and over 50% poverty)learned about human rights and became able to problem solve many of the school's tough issues in the classroom. All this through a non-profit organization that cares about students, teachers, and the sustainable education so relevant to our troubled environment. I would urge anyone that cares about the environment and can reach our young students to learn more about Creative Changes Educational Solutions, Inc. and Susan Santone. She is one of the most passionate people I know when it comes to making changes in education . She was tireless when working with us to make sure teachers and students had the information that would change their thinking and inform their lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been affiliated with this organization for a few years and it is increadible the progress it has seen in providing environmental educational opportunities to teachers, and through them, to students.

Board Member

Rating: 4

CCES knows sustainability eduction unlike any other organization I've seen. They go deep in content, but make it everything accessible an easy-to-relate-to for teachers, students, and administrators. They have also aligned their offerings with many state education standards so that integrating their curricula with other traditional curricula becomes a non-issue. All in all, they are dedicated group with high standards and great passion for education.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Change is one of the few educational non-profits that seeks to promote sustainability and global citizenship across content areas. Although many claim to assist schools and provide alternative education programs that promote philanthropic values, their implementation can sometimes be limited to certain content areas. (i.e. science and elementary education) This inadvertently ignores other subjects that be equally as beneficial in the learning process. What Creative Change offers are K-12 solutions that don´t limit themselves to standard content areas, but offer programs across the public school curriculum for every teacher in every content. As a Spanish teacher I have come to greatly appreciate this source of information and ideas when it comes to making more substantial, relatable and applicable curriculum that teaches values as well as the language. I recently came back from a conference regarding the ¨promotion of green¨in the classroom and their ideas seemed to only be breaking the surface. They said for a Spanish classroom a nature hike while identifying leaf colors could be a great way to accomplish this and practice vocabiulary. Although this can be engaging, I don´t think it`s as substantial as the one I modified from the Creative Change website involving recycling posters. During my unit on Spain we discussed Spain´s amazing contribution to alternative energy and some of the ways the country is being innovative with wind energy. We discussed the irony of this with the ¨Don Quixote¨ story and went on to make our own posters promoting renewable energy. Many kids enjoyed it and expressed their interest in holding on to their posters.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative change is amazing. The creative change people really care, in all aspects of their lives. The lessons in the education "green" unit are quality, kid friendly and adjustable to age groups. Creative change doesn't bowl you over with being extreme or scare tactics. They give you practical ways that you can make a difference in your lives, and can pass it on to others who will also make a difference because of your influence. I highly recommend that you get involved.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Creative Change provided excellent consultation and support in all aspects of the work,from conceiving the course to the design of the materials and evaluation. Creative Change staff also collaborated with our staff to deliver the course, and providing skilled facilitation that engaged participants from diverse backgrounds. People felt welcome and comfortable, yet challenged to learn. Evaluations of the course were overwhelmingly positive.