Foundation for Environmental Education

Programs Profiled Here: Young Reporters, Learning about Forests and Eco-Schools




Worldwide in 73 countries. Please see here for a full list of programs and countries

Age Level of Students Participating

Eco-Schools: K to college.
Young Reporters: Grade 6 to College
LEAF: K to 12

Number of Students Participating per Year

Today, 50,000+ students and 10,000+ teachers in 29 countries are involved in the Young Reporters for the Environment program - called YRE

There are now more than 11 million students across 52 countries taking part in the Eco-Schools program. (2011)

LEAF engages 550,000 students in 23 countries worldwide

Year Organization Began


Relationship to the public education system

Depending on the program, FEE works both within and external to public education systems. In some cases, as with Young Reporters, it might not be possible for in-country partner organizations to integrate the program into the educational system.In such cases, the in-country partner operates the program independently.

Organization’s Vision and Mission

Mission: To engage and empower people through education in collaboration with our members and partners worldwide.

“We believe in the power of change and that the best gift we can give to future generations, the most valuable legacy we can leave behind us, is a world of educated and environmentally conscious people equipped with the sustainable attitude which is so sorely lacking in today's society.”

Brief Description of Program Activities

Eco-Schools is an initiative that seeks to encourage young people to be engaged in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it. Students start by working within their classrooms, their schools and eventually with their local communities.

This program seeks to encourage young people to impact the environmental management policies of their schools and work with school staff and local authorities on plans toward the improvement of both the school and the local community.

10 themes that students learn about in Eco-Schools are the following: Biodiversity & Nature, Climate Change, Energy, Global Citizenship, Health & Well-being, Litter, Marine & Coast, School Grounds, Transport, Waste, and Water.

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) aims to empower young people to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these frustrations through the media of writing, photography or video. The program offers these young people a chance to make their work public (for example by publishing an article in media outlets such as The Huffington Post) in the hope of having their voices heard.

The primary aim of the Learning about Forests (LEAF) program is to increase knowledge about the key role forests play in sustaining life on Earth. Children are encouraged through illustrative means and field trips to realize the importance of protecting and improving woodlands.

Activities include: planting trees and global action days that promote the planning of school-wide environmental action, Themes that are covered include the following: forests, water, biodiversity, climate and community.

Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies

Young Reporters: Skills at social responsibility, independence, responsibility for environment, and individual initiative.

Eco-Schools instill in students a sense of responsibility and cultivates a sustainable mindset that they can apply on a daily basis.

LEAF instills in students a sense of responsibility over their environment.

Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies

The Young Reporters program helps participants develop communication skills, teamwork skills and leadership skills.

Eco-Schools helps participants develop leadership skills, public speaking, meeting, negotiation, and communications skills.

LEAF encourages participants to work together actively and involve their communities in collaborative solutions. It encourage participants to share inspirational stories of their achievements, failures, and values, to learn from them, and to support each other

Program Content: Cognitive Competencies

Critical analysis, research, investigation, intellectual curiosity, decision-making

Program Content: Attitudes and Values

Young Reporters: The ultimate goal of these young reporters is to highlight environmental injustices and to have them righted by the appropriate authorities. The program seeks to encourage participants to feel like they can make a difference.

Eco-Schools equips those involved with the motivation to make a difference and to spread their sustainable mindset and proactive behavior amongst family and friends, ultimately passing it on to future generations.

LEAF encourages individuals to reconnect with their woodland heritage and gives them a sense of responsibility over their environment: future generations should be given the tools to appreciate the environment and make educated and informed decisions about its future.

Program Content: Pedagogy/ Active Engagement of Students

Eco-Schools places great emphasis on involving the local community from the very beginning. By doing so, the lessons the students pick up are transferred back into the community where they take hold and lead to more sustainable, environmentally responsible behavior patterns all round.

Young Reporters for the Environment encourages young people to have their say on environmental issues in their locality which they feel are not being adequately addressed.

A competition is held annually to encourage young people from all over the world to push themselves to their limits in the search for a story which will ultimately bring to the fore a real and current local environmental issue. Composed of three independent age categories, the competition affords the entrants the chance of winning not only prizes, but recognition too. There are three age categories in the International Competition 11-14, 15-18 and 19-21.

Source of Information

1All information for this summary come from Foundation of Environmental Education’s website and a phone interview with Program Directors that took place in June 2016.

Prepared by

Ashim Shanker