Environmental Literacy Champions
Champions of environmental literacy can be instrumental in this first phase of building buy-in and support, but they are not essential. Efforts are more likely to gain momentum when there are advocates who have sufficient influence and standing in the community to generate high-level interest and support and to bring together the necessary stakeholders around a specific idea. Champions tap into their existing personal relationships and networks and are well-poised to leverage their social capital to motivate others to join an initiative or try something new. They are passionate about solving the problem but provide the space for the community to work through it collaboratively. Who has the capacity to inspire and motivate others in the school district that you work in? Perhaps it’s a superintendent or an influential board member. Maybe it is an elected official or business leader. Maybe it’s you.
Thinking back to how we message about environmental literacy, environmental literacy champions can help with both crafting and delivering the story. Champions might have access to certain groups of people who may not otherwise be available or open to receiving the information.
While you may only need one or two champions to kickstart an effort, it’s important to consider the need for a shared and distributed model of leadership for scaling up environmental literacy efforts. When it comes to shifting the culture in a school district, there is an opportunity for every person to lead from the role that they hold.