ROOTS OF SUCCESSEnvironmental Literacy & Work Readiness Curriculum
An empowering educational program that prepares youth and adults for environmental careers and to improve conditions in their communities.
Used in a wide range of educational and workforce settings that include: schools, youth programs, apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, job training programs, reentry programs, prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, government agencies, community-based organizations, environmental justice and environmental organizations.
Our mission is to contribute to an economy rooted in good jobs, thriving communities, and a healthy environment. We do this by preparing youth and adults who come from communities disproportionately impacted by poverty, unemployment, and environmental injustice to become professionals and leaders who can access good green jobs and improve environmental and social conditions in their communities.
Improving social and economic opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults from underserved communities
How It Works
Roots of Success is a multimedia, activity-based curriculum that is facilitated by an instructor and taught in a classroom setting. The curriculum is composed of ten modules and can be taught as a stand-alone course or integrated into an existing program or curriculum.
Programs use Roots of Success because our teaching approach and materials immediately engage individuals who have struggled in school and have barriers to employment and are directly relevant to people who come from low-income communities. Our curriculum strengthens academic and professional skills, increases environmental literacy, focuses on 125 careers that can provide individuals and their families with economic security, and inspires individuals to become activists and leaders who can improve conditions in their communities and in society more broadly.
Roots of Success is a 10 module, multimedia, activity-based curriculum that can be facilitated by an instructor and taught in a classroom setting or offered as a self-paced course that students can take independently. The curriculum can be taught as a stand-alone course or integrated into an existing course or program. After teaching the first module, programs can offer as many or few modules as they choose. There are customized versions for different populations: in-school and out-of-school youth, adults, incarcerated populations, and Spanish-speaking populations.
Roots of Success is taught by instructors who are trained and certified to teach the course. Program staff in any education or training setting and from all skill levels can be trained to be instructors. New instructors participate in a one-day Train-the-Instructors training online or in-person. Our team is flexible to meet each program and instructor’s scheduling needs. Instructors leave the training with all of the teaching materials and multimedia content needed to teach the course, receive ongoing technical assistance, and join a national Community-of-Practice composed of certified instructors.
The curriculum is accompanied by a Green Jobs & Career Pathways Guidebook that uses Bureau of Labor (BLS) statistics and employment data to describe 125+ jobs and careers in the green economy. It includes detailed information on job descriptions, basic qualifications, salary ranges, benefits, career ladders, and growth figures. The Guidebook is explicitly designed for youth and adults who have not been served well by schools, and includes information on jobs and careers that do not require a college degree but offer employees living wages and occupational mobility over time.
Inspired by the popular education model, our teaching method engages students, makes learning relevant, builds on previous knowledge and experiences, and connects what students are learning in the classroom to real-world issues. The curriculum uses intensive student engagement, integrated multimedia, and group activities to stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity and ignite their interest in the subject matter because the conversation speaks directly to the students experiences and is relevant to their everyday lives and concerns.
The curriculum design and delivery system actively engage students in the learning process. The curriculum works well for students with different learning styles (kinesthetic, visual, audial) and from diverse backgrounds.
Inside the Classroom
Testimonies from inmates "Behind the Wall"
The strength and impact of Roots of Success comes from how it delivers information – it is not simply given to students as if they are open vessels ready to bank information, but as people who learn better when they engage with the material, see and hear content that is relevant to their lives and sparks conversation and are encouraged to learn from one another.Rebecca Lurie
Each module is structured to address 6 key areas:
Focus on pressing environmental issues, problems and solutions, environmental justice, innovative and entrepreneurial responses to environmental challenges, and key terms and vocabulary needed to work in environmental fields.
Emphasis on reading, writing, communication, scientific inquiry, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving, computer literacy skills, test taking, academic confidence.
Work Readiness and Career Pathways
Prepares students for 125+ environmental jobs and career pathways, focuses on professional skills, job searches, resume and cover letter writing,mock interviews, preparation for successful interviews with employers.
Focuses on developing skills to identify problems, participate in discussions about environmental issues, and take action to achieve solutions.
Focuses on skills and knowledge individuals need to make informed and effective short and long-term financial decisions.
Focuses on developing a plan for a small green business.
Roots of Success is adaptable and versatile. It can be taught over the course of several weeks or months. It can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or it can be integrated into an academic or training program. Each module can be completed in five hours total time. Teaching all 10 modules takes approximately 50 hours. To offer Roots of Success, programs have one or more staff or participants in their program trained to teach the curriculum. Before, during and after the training, our staff work directly with program directors and instructors to develop an implementation plan that fits their program’s needs.
- Used in education, workforce, correctional facility, and reentry settings
- Materials are flexible, adaptable, affordable, easy to use
- Teaching method and materials immediately engage students
- Prepares students to understand and address society’s most pressing environmental and environmental justice problems
- Connects education to employment
- Prepares students for over 125+ environmental jobs and career pathways
- Graduates receive an industry relevant certification
- Students can receive up to 6 units of college credit in some settings
- Health, Food & Agriculture
- Community Organizing & Leadership
- Financial Literacy & Social Entrepreneurship
- Application & Practice
More prepared for job interviews
Better understanding of environmental problems and solutions
Improved basic academic skills
More interested in community engagement
Increased professional vocabulary
Would recommend class to others
More knowledgeable on green careers
Will share what they learn with others
Roots of Success is particularly well suited for young people who have not been well served by the schools. It is a tool that can help address career and college readiness for young people with low levels of literacy. The curriculum works because it is engaging, adaptable, easy to teach, works well for students with different learning styles, promotes collaboration, problem solving and student leadership.Pedro Noguera
Roots of Success is helping us educate offenders about the importance of conserving resources in our facility. In the last year, we’ve reduced our trash bill from $95,000 to $5,000. It is also helping us to prepare offenders for reintegration and employment.
Roots of Success is the missing ingredient in the green collar jobs landscape: an accessible curriculum that helps people break the cycle of poverty by providing needed job and academic skills while empowering them to improve environmental and public health conditions in their communities.
We are standing on the verge of a new economy and we need to think about who this economy will include, and who it will exclude. The green economy is strong enough to lift people out of poverty, but only if the people who need jobs the most receive training and support for good green jobs.Van Jones
Earning college credit helps students move towards college. For students who do not see themselves in college, Roots offers a multitude of growing career pathways that do not require a college degree.Andra Kimball
Interested in scheduling a training, reviewing a sample the curriculum, or simply learning more about how Roots of Success could make an impact on your classroom, reach out to us via email below.