What is Place-Based Education?
|Rogers City Middle School students explore the Trout River while collecting samples for a macro-invertebrate study. This is part of their ongoing analysis of the water quality in the Trout River|
Protecting the Great Lakes and environmental resources of northeast Michigan through hands-on, place-based learning in and with the community.
Place-Based Education (PBE) or Community Based Education (CBE) brings students into closer contact with their communities, through youth-led stewardship projects that enhance their environment and community. This education strategy allows schools to enrich the learning and lives of their students.
Hands-on, place-based education is a proven method for developing knowledgeable and active stewards of the environment. When schools and communities work together, they produce powerful partnerships that are beneficial to all.
What is our Goal?
The Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI) is a regional network of education and community partners working to promote quality place-based or community-based education opportunities in northeast Michigan for the benefit of our youth, our community, and our environment. The initiative operates and supports programming through three primary areas:
- Schools and Educator Support: provides program support for educator teams to engage their local schools and youth in place-based education programming.
- Quality Professional Development: supporting the uses of best practices that maximize the effectiveness of PBE by providing access to quality local training and professional development opportunities that support place-based education processes, provide content-based learning, and facilitate networking among regional partners.
- Strong Community-School Partnerships: Seeking meaningful community service and environmental stewardship in youth projects, the initiative links community partners and community development or environmental stewardship goals to schools with the purpose of creating youth driven stewardship projects.
Through the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, NEMIGLSI provides mini-grants in support of local Place-Based Education programming. Mini-grants funds are available to school educator teams to use over 2 years in developing a PBE or CBE program in their school, with the help of community partners. Application information is available here.
Supporting Community Development and Resource Stewardship Priorities through Education?
Since 2006, many local and regional partners have engaged in Great Lakes and aquatic education networking and planning efforts across a six county coverage area that includes Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties. These regional relationships and planning efforts resulted in establishing a regionally collaborating network of school and community partners, receiving funding support from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust's Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, and operating as the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.
The six counties encompassed by this regional network are rich in natural, cultural, and historic resources that are invaluable to the region's "sunrise side" identity and quality of life. Several regional, coastal community development, and tourism planning processes identify needs and strategies for enhancing coastal areas, education, and sustainable resource management. These provide examples of regional planning efforts that identify community partners, community priorities, and coastal resource stewardship project opportinities in which schools can engage.
Who is involved?
On a statewide level, NEMIGLSI is supported by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. This organization, funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, supports Place-Based education efforts throughout the state of Michigan by funding and supporting regional hubs, such as NEMIGLSI.
Here in northeast Michigan, many schools and community partners are involved in NEMIGLSI projects, which reflect partnerships among in-school educators, local, state, and federal agencies, universities, non-profit conservation and community organizations, non-formal education programs, and representatives from area businesses and industry. Currently there are 11 funded projects throughout northeast Michigan. Any schools the six county area are invited to join the initiative!