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School Wellness Alliance: Outdoor Education in San Mateo County 


According to research, spending time in nature can improve our physical and mental health outcomes. These benefits, along with the goal of increasing students’ understanding of their place in the environment, were the focus of the San Mateo County School Wellness Alliance’s fall meeting. Sharon Danks from Green Schoolyards America highlighted work in the United States as well as internationally to create greener spaces for students to play and learn.

Sharon’s presentation was followed by a presentation by Andra Yeghoian, Environment Education Coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE), who discussed her work to create a comprehensive outdoor education curriculum and experience for students across all grade-levels in local schools. Andra’s shared the SMCOE’s Environmental Literacy Framework, which will guide their leadership in supporting environmental literacy in schools across the county. Many of the county’s community-based organizations that focus on environmental education were in attendance to share their resources with educators to increase opportunities for collaboration.