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Northern Nevada org offers sustainability training for teachers

Teachers look toward the front of a classroom to view a presentation.
Jose Davila IV
KUNR Public Radio
Teachers attend an Envirolution training session on July 28, 2022, at Sky Ranch Middle School in Sparks, Nev., where they learned about passive heating.

A local nonprofit called Envirolution recently won a $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada to support sustainability training for teachers.

Debi Kruse is a fifth grade teacher at Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada in Sparks. Even though the charter school focuses on STEM education, Kruse attended Envirolution training to broaden her vocabulary and curriculum.

“I’ve been a teacher for a while and we kind of get jaded," Kruse said. "They’ve introduced things and I’m like, ‘I’ve never thought of that!’ It’s just really good to have such open and different ideas."

Kruse is learning from Master Teacher Tammy Borremans, whose goal is to prepare teachers to implement sustainability concepts in the classroom and help their students submit a project proposal.

“My fifth grade class the year before last actually wrote a proposal to change all of the lighting at Dayton Elementary School from fluorescent lighting to LED lighting,” Borremans said.

The Dayton project will wrap in November with rebates from NV Energy, funding from the nonprofit Society for Science, and the Tesla K-12 Education Gift through the Nevada Department of Education.

John McKenzie works in rural, Central Nevada at Round Mountain Junior/Senior High School as a science teacher. He wants to empower his students so that they can solve sustainability problems.

“The fact that they can do something to help the environment and not feel such a sense of doom and gloom about it," McKenzie shared. "That small changes can add up and make a big difference."

Fifteen teachers from across Nevada and one from Arizona attended the training this year.

As a note of disclosure, NV Energy is a financial supporter of KUNR Public Radio.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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