Back Foundations underwrite LOA’s new program to train teachers in using environmental texts
Teacher at LOA professional development session held at Common Ground High School.

Library of America has been awarded two new grants that will enable the expansion of its education initiative centered around American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau. The Bay and Paul Foundations and the Gould Family Foundation are supporting the creation of a professional development (PD) program that trains teachers to connect secondary school students with the essential environmental texts in the American Earth collection.

With project partner Common Ground Environmental High School in New Haven, Connecticut, LOA will present a two-day Planning Summit where teachers and administrators from schools throughout the U.S. will be trained to use American Earth in conjunction with the related Teacher’s Guide in their language arts, social studies, and environmental science classrooms. They will be cultivated as “master teachers” who can in turn present this material to other educators in their communities. Equally importantly, they will advise LOA on developing further PD programs that support national and state learning objectives while teaching students the story of the American environmental movement.

American Earth Teacher’s Guide

A pilot session of this PD program held at Common Ground in December 2014 demonstrated the effectiveness of the American Earth Teacher’s Guide and related teacher training in engaging students with important environmental writing. As one participating teacher observed, “There’s a great sense of power from these writings that will help students become more informed citizens who can make more powerful choices.”

For more information about American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau and the American Earth Teacher’s Guide, visit

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