New Jersey Learns
The New Jersey Learns (NJ Learns) program unites schools and communities to learn and change together to instigate, sustain, and scale up the innovations and best practices that contribute to sustainability and that characterize Education for Sustainability.
We can accelerate the shift toward a Sustainable New Jersey by linking schools' and communities' efforts to educate for sustainability. Education for sustainability will secure the role of children, young people and adults as participants, innovators and leaders in transforming our future.
NJ Learns offers introductory and advanced Education of Sustainability programming, ongoing coaching and instructional support for schools, individual educators and community leaders, and is influencing educational policy. NJ Learns participants acquire the knowledge, skills and habits of mind (the different way of thinking) that characterize Education for Sustainability (EfS) and then become certified to educate others to understand and integrate the concepts of sustainability into their work across sectors. Many continue their participation in NJ Learns to develop catalytic leadership skills, design programs and curricula through the lens of EfS, and stay connected to a growing network of thought leaders and practitioners creating fundamental and lasting change for a sustainable Jersey.
NJ Learns also provides special opportunities to strategically link Sustainable Jersey Green Teams and Earthwatch Action Teams with leadership development and content of EfS.
Apply to the New Jersey Learns Program
The NJ Learns Keystone Program is a year-long Introductory Education for Sustainability (EfS) program. The curriculum provides participants with a transformative understanding of what sustainability is, and the knowledge, skills and tools to lead it and educate for it in their schools and communities.
In partnership with Sustainable Jersey the Keystone Program serves community and school-based green team members from Registered/Certified Sustainable Jersey Municipalities. By spacing the days over the course of a year participants are provided sufficient time to gain a deep understanding of EfS and to apply that learning over time in coached and authentic environments.
Eight days of (take out number of days) expert training, best practices, and leadership tools to contribute to, and educate for sustainability (Dates to be determined)
Knowledge, skills, materials, and habits of mind to approach community interests from a sustainability perspective, and to make green teams highly effective agents of change
Constructive peer and expert feedback to help you match your message to your audience
Practicum opportunities to apply what you learn in the program in an authentic way with your target audience
Learning portfolios to track your participation and change in thinking over time
Resources from Sustainable Jersey and networking opportunities to build capacity in New Jersey’s sustainability initiatives
Access to Cloud Commons, our digital library, with hundreds of reference materials to help you build the work in your community
Membership in an on-going learning community of all NJ Learns participants
A NJ Learns Introductory EfS Certificate of Completion from the Cloud Institute
Live or work in a municipality that is registered with Sustainable Jersey
On a community or school based green team
Are passionate about sustainability and contributing to it in their community or school
Have experience in leading formally or informally in their school or community
Have an interest in developing and/or implementing a vision and action plan for reaching their goals
Have an orientation to collaboration
Consider diversity of all kinds an asset
Applicants will be assessed based on their potential to work collaboratively with their green team to be a catalyst for change in their community or school as demonstrated by their leadership experience, orientation to teamwork and team-building, and goals for applying Education for Sustainability to accelerate the shift toward sustainability.
To earn the Introductory Education for Sustainability Certificate, participants will have:
Attended all days of the program
Completed all in-person and at-home extension assignments
Maintained their online portfolio throughout the program
Planned and completed a Practicum exercise applying EfS with their target audience
After certification, all of our participants remain connected through local community networks and partnerships, and continue the ongoing work of creating fundamental and lasting change for a sustainable New Jersey.
The fee to participate in, and any scholarships to the NJ Learns program will be determined by grant funding and support by The Dodge Foundation and Sustainable Jersey. If you are interested in applying, please let us know and we will let you know about the financial obligation as soon as we know.
The Leading Change Series is part of our NJ Learns Advanced Leadership program. The series is designed to build on what you learned during the Keystone Year by strengthening those habits of mind you need to educate for sustainability and to provide additional tools to help you lead the shift toward a sustainable future in our communities and schools.
In each session of the Leading Change Series, we’ll draw on the real-life leadership challenges you face in your own communities and schools through various topics. We’ll work together to strengthen your skills of catalytic leadership and delve into the complex processes of change management. You’ll learn to anticipate and mediate challenges better, build them right into your process, and handle them creatively and effectively when they arise.
By participating in the Leading Change Series, you will:
Gain strategies for expanding your target audience
Build connections with your fellow NJ Learners from all cohorts
Strengthen the collective capacity of the NJ Learns network
Deepen your resolve and resiliency as you navigate the change-making process
Leading Change is open to Keystone Alumni only. Apply using the link above, or contact us for additional information.
The aim of NJ Schools Learn is to create school cultures that inspire young people to think about the world, their relationship to it, and their ability to influence it in an entirely new way. In order for schools to learn and change over time, they must have the support of their communities.
Our partnership with Sustainable Jersey,”a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term”, provides favorable conditions for school systems throughout the state to play an active role in contributing to the vibrant future of their communities by securing student achievement, civic engagement and successful schools that learn.
Cranford and Cherry Hill are the first two certified Sustainable Jersey municipalities to formally partner with their school districts to educate for sustainability. Take a look at the Cranford Resolution and the Cherry Hill Resolution.
The Cloud Institute works with both of these “early adopter” districts at the organizational and classroom levels. Every year, we spend between 10-14 days on-site in the schools providing direct support in the three following areas:
A) Administrative Planning and Coaching
B) Professional Development
C) Faculty Coaching
Districts that partner with the Cloud Institute through NJ Schools Learn do so for a minimum of three to five years. Over time, we aim to engage as many of the school districts as possible among the 57 communities now represented in Sustainable Jersey AND the NJ Learns Community. Therefore, every year, there is “open enrollment” in the NJ Schools Learn program and new districts may engage as soon as they are ready so that more and more schools and communities across the state are learning and changing together to accelerate the shift toward sustainability. Funding for those additional districts comes from a combination of district funding and local foundations and sponsorships. NJ Schools Learn demonstrates that educating for sustainability makes a vital contribution to our children’s achievement, their health and their well being, while securing the viability of sustainable communities in the state of New Jersey.
Contact us to inquire about bringing The Cloud Institute to your school.
We'd like to thank our program partners for their support!
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Earthwatch, Sustainable Jersey and Duke Farms