A Message from NAAEE's Executive Director Judy Braus, December 2023


"Warm Wishes" NAAEE logo, owl on snowy background, green ribbons



Message from the Executive Director

Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. —Marian Wright Edelman 

Dear Members and Supporters:

As we wrap up 2023 and reflect on all that we have accomplished together, I am grateful to be part of this community. After more than a dozen years, I still feel so privileged to be at the helm of NAAEE and to work alongside our wonderful team, board, council, and Affiliate network, as well as with such incredible members, supporters, and partners. 

Championing environmental education to create a more just world where people and nature thrive has been at the heart of our organization for more than half a century. This year alone, we made tremendous progress, launching an inspirational CEE-Change Fellowship connecting 11 countries, spotlighting 31 brilliant young leaders through the EE 30 Under 30 program, and providing critical training and support to more than 10,000 educators. We also drove meaningful policy changes, activated thousands of early childhood educators, pushed innovative thinking through new webinars and resources, and supported a thriving community with eePRO.

Our conferences sparked hope and change, featuring thought-provoking speakers and workshops—from poets and historians to equity and climate experts. Sessions equipped attendees with tangible tools and new ideas to create more just, relevant, and effective educational programs. If you missed out, you can still access both conference recordings with registration. The NAAEE conference, “Together We Thrive,” has 300+ sessions on our conference platform until March and you can get a taste of the conference by watching our wrap-up conference video. You can also access the 2023 Natural Start conference and learn more about new thinking in nature-based early childhood education.

In the year ahead, we look forward to working with you as we advocate for climate change education and fair wages and professional development across our profession, weave principles of equity into everything we do, and continue to uplift and support educators and environmental education globally. We all know the challenges ahead are great, but so is the power of our engaged community bound together by shared purpose and compassion. 

We also know the value of leading with kindness and respect—especially in divisive times. It can set the tone for positive change. Even small acts like active listening, meeting differences with empathy, and lifting up those who need encouragement can shift mindsets and perspectives for the better. 

All of us at NAAEE wish you a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, reflection, connection, and peace for all in the coming year. 

Judy Braus
Executive Director


PS: As you consider your year-end giving, please consider a gift to NAAEE so that we can continue to do this important work together.

Give the Gift of NAAEE

As you consider your year-end giving, please consider a gift to NAAEE so that we can continue to do this important work together.

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