|Submission Date||Aug. 1, 2011|
State University of New York at Oswego
PAE-19: Community Sustainability Partnerships
Does the institution participate in community sustainability partnerships that meet the criteria for this credit?:
A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with the local community:
Community partnerships fall into categories representative of the three components of sustainability: environmental concerns, economic development, and social justice.
Regarding the first, Rice Creek Field Station has collaborated with the Oswego City Department of Community Development since 2009 on a Rain Garden project that provided expertise during the planning of the garden, and provided volunteers including SUNY students during the construction of the City of Oswego’s first rain garden, located downtown adjacent to City Hall.
The Field Station also collaborated with the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center on a demonstration project that reduces storm water runoff into local tributaries to Lake Ontario and that encourages residents to build rain gardens. This project was supported by a USDA Rural Development Technical Assistance Training grant.
The Field Station also has held Energy and Sustainability workshops for in-service and pre-service teachers in partnership with the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the KidWind Project.
Assistant Director, Diann Jackson has been organizing and holding these types of workshops at RCFS since 2008 jointly with NYSERDA: ABCs of Energy, 4Es of Energy, Sustainable Living, Focus on Solar, KidWind
Rice Creek Field Station has had an ongoing partnership with the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation to provide ecology workshops for in-service and pre-service teachers, and other undergraduate and graduate programs as well as the general public. Assistant Director, Diann Jackson, has led these workshops since 1999 including Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, Flying WILD, Project WET, Below Zero, and Science and Civics
Through the Office of Business and Community Relations, and through a partnership with faculty who serve on area sustainability non-profits, members of the American Chemical Society, and members of the County’s Environmental Management Council the college has fostered development of a sustainability list serve that has over 200 members, has planned a community based Sustainability Fair for the last two years that has attracted over 500 attendees annually, and hosts several Science Cafes each year attended by as many as 100 community residents.
Addressing economic sustainability, there have also been numerous additional programs and several public issues forums related to sustainability that have developed out of existing relationships with area economic development agencies, community planning agencies, the County Administrator’s Office, and other local governmental officials. The Office of Business and Community Relations has included an award winning Small Business Development Center that helps regional small businesses grow and prosper. Last year, the Center won a national small business award that resulted in a visit to the White House. SBDC programming features a unique Micro-Enterprise program that is the result of a longstanding partnership between the City’s Community Development Office, the SBDC and the County’s Economic Development Agency.
Finally, regarding social justice the college has several partnerships through the School of Education. For example, on the Onondaga Nation, Dr. Jennifer Kagan supervises literacy graduate students who provide tutoring in reading, writing, and oral language to Native American students. She works with the entire faculty on literacy instruction, responds to questions they raise, visits their classrooms, and conducts teacher study groups which meet weekly. Kagan also facilitates interactions with area writers, who have conducted writing workshops with elementary teachers on a regular basis.
Along with these literacy activities, Kagan is organizing a new after-school tennis program funded by the Junior Tennis Foundation will promote physical fitness and provide K-6 Native American children access to a new sport.
In NY State, SUNY Oswego directs Project SMART which is a school/business/university partnership among the Oswego County Schools and Teacher Center, the Syracuse City School District, several New York City school districts, several regional business and community organizations, and SUNY Oswego. For twenty years it has provided high-quality and sustained professional development for in-service and pre-service teachers during an annual summer institute, followed by implementation and assessment activities with participants during the academic year.
Project SMART’s purpose is the improvement of P-12 teaching through an inquiry-based approach that emphasizes how schoolwork is connected to learning in the real world of work. In addition, Project SMART has increasingly focused on promoting professional development school and other partnership activities in diverse urban school environments, receiving significant new funding for this enhanced programmatic emphasis in recent years. Project SMART has also begun to support the work of the Project CLIMB initiative by hosting a team from Benin in the 2007 summer professional development institute.
The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
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