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Dear Community,

What a whirlwind of a few months it has been. These times have challenged us to develop innovative approaches to solve old problems. Teachers, school administrators, children, parents, and families from all walks of life have had to find new ways to stay safe and connected. Each of us has had to dig deep and tap into our inner resilience. As an educator for over 20 years and former Principal of EcoRise campus C.W. Harris Elementary School in Washington DC, I can tell you firsthand that through the will, drive, and determination of teachers, schools have become a haven for students and families.

This year, I have had the opportunity to serve on the EcoRise board as I complete my Ph.D. in educational leadership at UPenn. As a former EcoRise Principal and current board member, I’ am so proud of the lasting impacts this organization creates. Tomorrow, on #GivingTuesday, I invite you to help us further our work and empower green schools, communities, and the next generation of leaders.

C. W. Harris students standing with a compost bin purchased with EcoRise Eco-Audit Grant funds.

C. W. Harris students standing with a compost bin purchased with EcoRise Eco-Audit Grant funds.

It is through your generous support that we will continue to make a difference. Monthly donations of $10 have provided teachers with free access to EcoRise curricula suites and monthly donations of $25 have provided grant funds to student innovation projects, which are still being completed virtually. During my six years as Principal in Washington D.C. Public Schools, our students were awarded grants for projects totaling more than $5,600. I want to thank you personally, as it was through contributions from donors like you that our students could bring to life projects such as designing and building a peace garden, creating a compost system for the school, improving our recycling efforts, and publishing a recipe book for the fresh herbs grown and sold at our school. There is nothing more powerful than seeing students find innovative ways to solve problems and improve their community. This is a great time to give, knowing that your contributions are directly impacting students and educators with opportunities like these.

This unique time in history provides us with an exceptional opportunity to do more than we have done before. It’s a call to action to show up through our giving and our service. There are more problems to solve and, thankfully, more leaders to build a better future. Tomorrow, on #GivingTuesday, you can help EcoRise bring resources to classrooms in need of more support than ever before by donating—which will be matched $1 for $1 this month by our Board and Advisory Council. We know that this is a challenging time for everyone, so if you are unable to donate directly, you can support EcoRise teachers by starting a Facebook fundraiser or forwarding this email to a friend.

Thank you in advance for your gift and your support of this transformational work.

Be well and continue to take the most care.


Heather Hairston
EcoRise Board Member


P.S. — Whether learning at home or in a hybrid model, EcoRise continues to provide support for all educators. Our curriculum, which provides access to STEM and sustainability lessons, is available for all students in grades PreK-12. I invite you to view some of the parent resources for at-home learning here.