Children in school today spend less time outdoors than ever before, and face increasing rates of obesity, asthma and allergies, ADHD, and other mental and behavioral health problems. At the same time, our civilization is facing catastrophic climate change, which we as a society are unequipped to deal with. So how can we improve our children’s health and well-being while also teaching them environmental literacy so that they are able to respond to looming ecological problems? How can classrooms be made less toxic and more environmentally friendly? How can school food be made healthier? With these topics in mind, Inhabitat is hosting a panel discussion at the upcoming NYC Green Festival to tackle the challenges faced by parents today when trying to choose the best education for their kids. Inhabitat’s founder and editor-in-chief Jill Fehrenbacher will be moderating the talk and will be joined by Amie Hamlin, Executive Director of New York Coalition For Healthy School Food; Aimee Arandia Østensen, 2nd Grade Teacher and Co-Leader of Go Green Committee at Manhattan Country School; Véronique Pittman, editor and moderator of the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) web platform; and Elea Robinson, teacher and founding faculty at the new, eco-friendly New Amsterdam School.
WHEN: Saturday April 26th @ 11:30am
WHERE: NYC Green Festival, Community Stage
“In the coming decades, the survival of humanity will depend on our ecological literacy — our ability to understand the basic principles of ecology and to live accordingly. This means that ecoliteracy must become a critical skill… and should be the most important part of education at all levels…” – Fritjof Capra, PhD
photo courtesy of shutterstock
TO WIN FREE TICKETS TO THIS EVENT:
We’re looking for great questions for our panelists to answer during this event, so we’ll be giving away 20 tickets to our panel discussion to our favorite questions submitted in the comments below. You can also submit your questions via Twitter with #greenmyschool.
These tickets will also get you into the Green Festival for free.
NOTE: School-aged children are welcomed and encouraged to participate in this discussion, so please bring them! There will be also be activities on site, in the New Amsterdam Children’s Corner, to engage children under 7 years old.
WHEN: Saturday April 26th @ 11:30am
WHERE: NYC Green Festival
Aimee Arandia Østensen– 2nd Grade Head Teacher and Co-Leader of Go Green Committee at Manhattan Country School
Aimee firmly believes that learning is a life-long process and that our experiences along the natural path of life can be our best teachers. Aimee is currently an educator at Manhattan Country School where she has taught Movement, 2nd grade, 5th grade and pre-kindergarten. At New York University, she studied Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Anthropology. Aimee later went on to study Educating for Sustainability at the CELF Summer Institute and at Antioch University New England. The relationship between personal experience and professional pursuit has been fluid for Aimee. Whether in the forest, the city, at the farm, or traveling in another country, she seeks out the connections and dynamics within and between things, and strives to embody Kirkegaard’s notion that we are not merely human beings, but “human becomings.”
Amie Hamlin – Executive Director at the New York Coalition for Health School Food
Amie Hamlin is the Executive Director of the NY Coalition for Healthy School Food, a New York state non-profit dedicated to introducing wholesome, plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.
Elea Robinson – Teacher and Founding Faculty at the New Amsterdam School
Elea Robinson is a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher and a Founding Faculty member of the New Amsterdam School in the East Village. Hailing originally from Massachusetts, she’s a professional musician and violinist, when not leading kindergarteners in nursery rhymes.
Véronique Pittman – Editor and Moderator of the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) web platform
Véronique Pittman is the information architect, editor and moderator of the Green Schools Alliance (GSA) web platform. She writes for the Huffington Post on national and world issues, and is an activist for sustainable schools, indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, green technologies, discovery learning and women’s reproductive health. She has helped to launch companies like Rainforest Native, which imports fair-trade ecological products from the Amazon and Casa Dragones Tequila. Pittman is a trustee of the Bedford 2020 Waste & Recycling Task Force, LessCancer.Org, Global Goods Partners and Round Hill Hotels and Villas. A graphic designer, chef and mountaineer, she strives to connect individuals with their lived environments.
Jill Fehrenbacher – Designer, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Inhabitat
Jill is the founder of Inhabitat, as well as a LEED-AP green designer and green design consultant based in New York City. She created Inhabitat in the spring of 2005 as a way to catalog her search for new ways to improve the world through forward-thinking, high-tech and environmentally conscious design.