Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
COVID-Related Updates for Educators & Advocates
First, it is my sincere wish that you are all well and safe in your homes and communities at this uncertain time. Together, we're doing our very best to manage existing workloads while taking on new and evolving tasks in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our organizations, colleagues, communities, families. And of course, each of us is also trying to track and organize new information nearly by the hour as the crisis unfolds and state and federal governments rush to respond.
For the moment, I want to share a few quick updates and resources that may be important to nonprofits and environmental educators. We will do our best at NAAEE to share additional information as we get it and to circulate the many excellent advocacy-related resources that others are developing each day.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Wednesday night, the Senate passed the CARES Act (S.748) which is expected to be passed by the House tomorrow (Friday). The stimulus package includes significant funding for businesses, hospitals, schools, and social support programs. Among other things, nonprofits are eligible for relief funds that can be used to cover payroll and operational expenses. The National Council for Nonprofits has an initial analysis of the legislation and is a good source of overall information, including links to your state nonprofit association—a good place to learn more about available state funding programs to support your organization at this time.
Guidelines for spending time outdoors
We’ve gotten many requests for guidance for individuals and families to spend time outdoors while practicing social distancing. Specific guidelines vary by state and locality. Many states and municipalities are waiving park fees and encouraging outdoor time as a way to maintain health and well-being during this stressful time. But CDC guidelines for social distancing should be followed at all times, and playground structures should be avoided. In some cases, parks are closing because overcrowding is creating an unsafe environment. The National Recreation and Parks Association has put out a clear and helpful statement about the use of open spaces and social distancing.
Crisis communications for environmental educators
Yesterday, NAAEE hosted a webinar with Kristen Grimm, president of Spitfire Strategies, entitled Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips and Strategies for Environmental Educators. The presentation included a lot of excellent information and recommendations and was very well received. You can watch the recording here.
We’ll continue to share information about all of the above and more, as we receive it. Please feel free to reach out if there is something we can do to support your work as an educator or EE advocate in the meantime.