2017 Advancing Environmental Literacy Award

E Guidelines,

Boulder E Movement


Samantha Messier,

Boulder Valley School District


In 2016, the Boulder County E Movement launched the E Guidelines, an innovative approach to advancing environmental literacy county-wide through a collective impact model. The E Movement is a community wide effort to provide Boulder County youth with the knowledge, care, skills, and connection to place required to become stewards of the environment. Various stakeholders worked collaboratively to create the guidelines, including a working group of teachers, BVSD and SVVSD administrators, land managers, and EE program providers. A key leader in the development of the E Guidelines was Dr. Samantha Messier. Dr. Messier is currently the Interim Assistant Superintendent for the Boulder Valley School District, where she oversees the Curriculum and Learning Materials department. Samantha's contributions to quality teaching and collaboration within our community are immeasurable, as is her commitment to nature.

Developed over the course of three years, the E Guidelines are informed both by knowledge of the local community, as well as the most current research on the factors that contribute to life-long earth stewardship. The E Guidelines lay out a scaffolded, whole-child approach to environmental education. The guidelines are scaffolded to be developmentally appropriate through time for youth pre-K – high school, and address four domains of the whole child: head (cognitive), heart (social-emotional), hands (service), and feet (sense of place). The E Guidelines are available to program providers, teachers, schools, and school districts and include specific actions in the four domains that promote environmental literacy. In addition, they are aligned with Colorado State Academic Standards, and include a simple template for teachers to allow for seamless integration into curriculum.

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

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