Portland, Ore. — Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) today announced a partnership with Portland Public Schools (PPS) to accelerate the creation of a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive K-12 curriculum that explores the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as potential solutions.
This partnership is a direct response to student advocacy. In 2016, local students and climate justice advocates reached out to the Portland Public Schools Board of Education to ask for comprehensive climate literacy including understanding the root causes of climate change and potential solutions to address its effects. Since then, a board resolution was passed and both community and district efforts have taken place to create curriculum and hire a new — and first in country — programs manager for climate change and climate justice.
The partnership and PGE’s three-year $250,000 investment to The Fund for Portland Public Schools allows PPS to do even more innovative work and aims to give PPS students, and others, access to cutting-edge educational experiences by providing students opportunities for authentic civic engagement.
“This is the first major investment to The Fund for PPS,” said Victoria Lara, board chair for The Fund for PPS. “What a great example of investing directly into a program that is so student centered and important to our community.” Once developed, the curriculum, training materials and best practices will be open source, meaning all the resources will be publicly available for other districts to implement and tailor for their schools.
“With the growing global concern regarding climate change, PPS is taking an innovative approach and bold stance to support educators and students by developing relevant climate justice curriculum and activities” said Guadalupe Guerrero, superintendent of PPS. “Making this curriculum easily accessible, will help bolster our efforts in both curriculum development and with supporting our youth’s growing understanding and advocacy on this important topic.”
In addition to funding, PGE employees will participate as content experts, co-creating supplemental classroom materials and project-based learning opportunities that will help students understand the important role of clean energy in reducing carbon and fighting climate change. PPS and a group of students, educators, frontline community members, government organizations, community organizations, and industry leaders will convene to inform the curriculum development. “It is essential that we work together, forging public and private partnerships to combat climate change and meet Oregon’s clean energy goals,” said Maria Pope, PGE president and CEO. “Our partnership with Portland Public Schools enables direct engagement with students and teachers that will explore real-world climate problems and innovative solutions.”
The full implementation of the K-12 social studies and science curriculum will launch in PPS schools in Fall 2021. For more information, visit pps.net/climatejustice