Hello Vermont Education and Environment Network!
(photo: Visiting Tracy's Arm Fjord and glacier in Alaska 2018)
I’m Lindsay Whitaker, Vermont Education and Environment Network’s new, temporary, Administrative Coordinator. Outside of this role, I also work as Summer Camp Director at Shelburne Farms.
Vermont Education & Environment Network is the Vermont state-level affiliate of the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) and member of the regional New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) . This year in particular, our board members have worked to rebrand Vermont Education & Environment Network (formerly, VT SWEEP), and work towards becoming a more welcoming and inclusive organization that benefits teachers, educators, and learners across the state of Vermont. Three key areas we are focusing our current work on include: supporting teachers & educators, increasing communications & engagement with educators & teachers across the state, and enhancing the benefits to our members.
Classroom teachers shared that due to current COVID protocols in schools, they’re spending more time outside with their students, but that many students won’t have appropriate winter gear to wear in the colder months. The VEEN Board is organizing a winter gear drive to collect and distribute cold weather clothes to schools around the state. The Winter Gear Drive event came from a survey of educator needs we distributed this fall. If you’d like to donate gear please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. While winter gear is just one of the many needs educators have, we are committed to listening to the needs of our members, including offering relevant programming and resources.
Increasing communications and engagement with educators and teachers across the state is part of the work I’ll be doing as VEEN’s Administrative Coordinator. You can look to our Facebook page, Twitter, website, and blog to read about the work we’re doing, and sign up for upcoming webinars, where you can also submit relevant events and webinars for us to share with our Network. An upcoming and ongoing project is establishing regional hubs in different areas of the state that will allow opportunities for classroom and informal educators to network in their region.
In the past few months, VEEN has seen a lot of positive changes, and more are coming. We endeavor to listen and be responsive to the needs of classroom and environmental educators in our state. We are committed to equity, justice, inclusion and creating systems change within our organization. We acknowledge that when it comes to this work our organization is not yet where we strive to be. We are working on learning, addressing, and improving the way we move through the world as individuals and an organization by engaging in active listening and learning.
If you know of organizations or individuals that would be an asset to The Vermont Education and Environment Network, or know of a story or event we could help spotlight, have a question, or just want to say hello, you can reach me email@example.com.