What is Roots of Success?

Roots of Success is an empowering and comprehensive environmental literacy curriculum that prepares youth and adults for opportunities in the green economy and to improve conditions in their communities.

The curriculum is composed of 10 modules:

  • Fundamentals of Environmental Literacy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Building
  • Health, Food & Agriculture
  • Civic Engagement & Leadership
  • Application & Practice
  • Financial Literacy & Social Entrepreneurship

There are customized versions for different populations:

  • Roots of Success (Standard Version for Adults)
  • Roots of Success en Español
  • Roots of Success for High Schools & Youth Programs
  • Roots of Success for Prisons, Jails & Juvenile Justice Facilities
  • Roots of Success for Social Entrepreneurs in the Green Economy
  • Localized versions of Roots of Success for the UK and South Africa

Who uses Roots of Success?

  • Green job training programs
  • High schools
  • Career technical high schools
  • Community colleges
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Green micro-enterprise and social entrepreneurship programs
  • Environmental justice organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Re-entry programs
  • Prisons
  • Juvenile justice facilities
  • Programs working with low-income youth and/or adults

What level are the materials written for?

Roots of Success can be used with participants of any literacy level or background. Roots of Success is designed for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners; learners from all racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds; learners of all academic levels; and learners with a wide ranges of prior experiences and knowledge.

On the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) test, our average student has a 4th math and 7th grade reading skills, but our unique pedagogical approach allows each learner to absorb the information and process it through their individual lens. Students who have weak academic skills can easily and successfully go through the curriculum and quickly increase their knowledge and strengthen a wide range of academic skill sets. Students who are stronger academically also benefit greatly from the curriculum, deepening their knowledge and strengthening existing academic skills. The value of this approach is that instructors are able to teach to a diverse community of learners, each of whom has an enjoyable and meaningful learning experience.

How does Roots of Success benefit my program?

  • Turn-key curriculum
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Can be taught to participants across all income and education levels
  • Integrates classroom discussion with videos, visuals, activities, exercises, and quizzes
  • Instructors can teach one or more modules
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Can be used alone or with other trainings

How does Roots of Success benefit participants in my program?

  • Increases competence, confidence, and excitement about learning
  • Builds on prior knowledge and experiences
  • Increases understanding of environmental problems and solutions
  • Strengthens academic and professional skills
  • Connects education to employment
  • Focus on jobs and career pathways
  • Familiarizes participants with professional opportunities in multiple sectors of the green economy
  • Encourages teamwork and collaboration
  • Inspires participants to take action
  • Builds leadership skills

How do programs use Roots of Success?

To offer Roots of Success, programs need:

Certified Instructors: Instructors participate in an affordable one-day workshop where they are trained and certified to teach the curriculum.

Student Workbooks: Include all key terms, glossaries, worksheets, discussion questions, exercises, activities, quizzes, and professional resources needed to complete the course.

Upon being certified, instructors gain access to:

  • Instructor’s Manual
  • DVD, which includes all videos and visuals needed for the course
  • Instructors section of website (includes resources for instructors, students, graduates)
  • A national Community of Practice for certified instructors
  • Additional resources for students

Can the curriculum be offered in one day, one week or one month?

Roots of Success is flexible and adaptable.

The curriculum can be taught:

  • As a stand-alone component of a training program or class
  • As a comprehensive curriculum using all nine modules
  • As an integrated component of an academic literacy training program
  • In one day, two days, multiple days, or over the course of several weeks or months
  • Each module is structured to be taught in 4-5 hours
  • Teaching all nine modules takes approximately 36 -45 hours

Programs can teach the:

  • Introductory “Fundamentals of Environmental Literacy” alone
  • Fundamentals with one or more additional modules
  • Entire course — all 9 modules

What is the impact of Roots of Success?

Roots of Success is highly effective and impactful:

  • 90% retention on post-course quizzes
  • 85% of graduates felt that their academic and professional skills were greatly enhanced
  • 86% stated they were better prepared for employment
  • Graduates have found employment in every sector of the green economy

Who endorses Roots of Success?

Roots of Success is the missing ingredient in the green jobs movement: an accessible curriculum that helps people gain needed skills while empowering them to improve environmental and public health conditions in their communities.”

-Van Jones, Green For All and Rebuild the Dream

How do I become an instructor?

  • We train 15-18 instructors at a time in a one-day training and certification process
  • We come to you!
  • To arrange a one-day workshop in your geographic area, email us at info@rootsofsuccess or call (510) 470-0803

How do I order Student Workbooks?

Send an email to orders@rootsofsuccess.org with the following information:

  • Number of Student Workbooks you want to order
  • Name and address for shipping label
  • Name and address for invoicing (the invoice amount will cover price of books plus shipping, handling, and taxes)
  • We ship orders via UPS Ground which takes about 5 business days; please plan accordingly when placing your order. Prices do not include shipping and handling (plus taxes in the State of CA).

Do you have additional resources for students and graduates?

 We produce a “Green Jobs and Career Pathways Guidebook” that profiles 162 green jobs and career ladders in the water, waste, transportation, energy, building, health, food and agriculture sectors of the green economy. To place an order for the Guidebook follow the same directions in the question above.

How does Roots of Success integrate environmental literacy with academic literacy and professional skills?

 Roots of Success works well with people of all educational levels, but it is designed to ensure that participants with limited academic and labor market skills can benefit from the curriculum and learning experience. It uniquely integrates environmental literacy with academic literacy and job readiness skills for audiences with limited academic proficiency by using innovative, multi-disciplinary curriculum design and delivery systems that actively engage students in the learning process. The academic literacy component is structured to enhance English (or Spanish) academic skills. The curriculum is filled with vocabulary building, reading, writing, math, oral presentation, critical thinking, and computer activities, which systematically build academic skills and confidence. Roots of Success also employs non-traditional methods of learning to enhance participant’s confidence, sense of competence and excitement to learn. For participants lacking labor market experience, the professional skills component uses job readiness and preparation exercises to increase a student’s labor market skills. In addition, the curriculum includes detailed information about green jobs and career pathways in each module’s thematic area (water, waste, transportation, energy, building, health, food & agriculture, community organizing).

 Why is a module on “Community Organizing and Leadership” included in the curriculum?

The module on “Community Organizing & Leadership” is designed to develop leadership so that people from disenfranchised communities are able to identify problems, participate in discussions about environmental issues, and take action to achieve solutions. This module focuses on the role of a community organizer, the tactics and strategies employed by community organizers, and provides examples of effective and inspirational community organizing efforts to promote equitable green development and green jobs.

What is the Community of Practice?

A core element of the Roots of Success curriculum is a vibrant Community of Practice among certified Roots of Success instructors.

Involvement in the Community of Practice begins with the Train-the-Instructor workshop and continues as instructors work together to develop supplementary teaching materials and activities that make the curriculum geographically and socially relevant to their region and their students.

What is environmental literacy?

Environmentally literate people have sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding of environmental topics and concerns to be able to analyze and make informed decisions about environmental issues. Increasing environmental literacy is essential to ensuring that everyone, at every educational level and in all sectors, is able to participate in developing a cleaner, more prosperous economy and a more sustainable and just future. It is also vital to enabling disenfranchised people and communities to participate in and benefit from the green economy.

How does Roots of Success develop environmental literacy?

Roots of Success prepares participants to understand environmental problems and solutions from the multi-disciplinary perspectives of environmental science, green technology, public health, land use planning, policy analysis, economic development, and social and environmental justice. It encourages participants to incorporate their life experiences throughout the learning experience and uses hands-on, interactive, activity-based teaching methods to keep participants continually engaged and excited about learning.

If you have additional questions or want to use Roots of Success, contact us!

Office: (510) 470-0803
Fax: (510) 526-7995
Email: info@rootsofsuccess.org
Skype: rootsofsuccess