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Curriculum implementation and teacher training will drive positive outcomes for thousands of New York City public school educators and students

New York City, NY, April 23, 2018EcoRise, the school-based, non-profit organization inspiring a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all, has announced a new corporate relationship with BNY Mellon.  An initial grant investment from BNY Mellon will support EcoRise in its efforts to bring innovative sustainability education to New York City (NYC) schools.

BNY Mellon’s philanthropic giving is focused on developing the workforce of the future. Additionally, BNY Mellon invests in programs that support socially responsible entrepreneurship that delivers positive environmental or sustainable impact and improves the lives of people. EcoRise empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship; making them a perfect fit for BNY Mellon’s philanthropic focus.

“BNY Mellon, with its long-held commitments to sustainability and social responsibility, embodies the world-changing spirit we so admire at EcoRise, and I am excited to announce our new relationship,” said Jon Stott, EcoRise’s Deputy Director. “Together, I am confident we can bring new opportunities to the schools, educators, and students of New York City, and I can’t wait to get started!”

EcoRise is working with the NYC Department of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to provide curriculum and professional development to an initial cohort of 50 NYC teachers. These teachers directly impact an estimated 2,800 students and indirectly reach as many as 14,000 students and community members through the extended reach of student-led sustainability projects. The objective of the EcoRise program is to teach students eco-literacy and design-thinking skills in order to foster the next generation of student innovators who will help create a more sustainable future for all.  At the start of 2018, EcoRise will recruit participating schools and educators, and launch the program with in-person teacher training this summer.

“The NYC Department of Education is thrilled at the opportunity that EcoRise and BNY Mellon have created for NYC educators and students to increase their knowledge, skills and leadership in sustainability. Through this invaluable partnership with EcoRise, we are able to make meaningful strides towards our goal of providing schools with resources that truly bring sustainability to life for students,” said Meredith McDermott, Director of Sustainability for the NYC Department of Education.

In the initial implementation in NYC, schools where 70 percent of the students are classified as economically disadvantaged will be given priority access to the program. Students need opportunities to apply creativity, practice critical thinking, collaborate with peers, and manage socially and environmentally important projects―all hallmarks of the EcoRise program―and students from lower-income populations frequently receive less access to these opportunities. EcoRise, through its work in large urban districts such as Boston and Washington, D.C., has demonstrated success in empowering students as leaders, introducing them to career pathways, and preparing them for overall success beyond their years in school.

“EcoRise and BNY Mellon are doing crucial work to engage and support younger generations in the environmental work that helps ensure a sustainable, shared future for all New Yorkers” applauds the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Mark Chambers.

The ambitious goals for this program include many positive outcomes for NYC students. Teachers will learn how to develop more authentic learning experiences for students; learn to foster students’ leadership skills, critical thinking, and environmental literacy; and receive new tools to expand and enhance their overall teaching practice. Students are expected to develop 21st century skills, adopt positive new behaviors and habits, and become better prepared to enter college or the workforce after high school. Mastering 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and technology literacy, are critical to ensure students succeed in their careers during the Information Age.  The evidence of impact from EcoRise implementation in U.S. schools demonstrates the likelihood of achieving these goals at a high level. The organization’s 2016-17 Impact Report shows that 96 percent of teachers report that EcoRise fosters students’ eco-literacy, 93 percent see an improvement in students’ 21st century skills, and 85 percent believe they are able to create more authentic learning experiences for students.

Ed Yoo drilling holes into a PVC pipe for the aquaponics system

Teacher and students drilling holes into a PVC pipe for the aquaponics system.

After the recruitment and training stages, teachers will begin to implement the EcoRise curriculum in their classrooms at the start of the 2018-19 academic year. At this time, they will also begin to accept submissions for the Student Innovation Fund and award micro-grants to support student-led sustainability projects throughout the year. K–12 Teachers interested in participating in the NYC program can learn more and register here:

About EcoRise

EcoRise develops the next generation of creative problem solvers by enlivening conventional classrooms with academically-aligned K–12 curriculum that introduces students to environmental literacy, social innovation, and hands-on design skills. EcoRise supports teachers in helping students solve real-world sustainability challenges concerning energy, water, waste, transportation, air quality, food and public spaces. The program focuses on enhancing STEM education, promoting sustainability, introducing students to green careers, and helping students develop 21st century skills. To learn more about EcoRise, visit

About BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of December 31, 2017, BNY Mellon had $33.3 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.9 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at for the latest company news.


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