Sustainability Institute for Educators

Sustainability Institute logo

SIE Summary  

SIE  history in photo


June 20–22, 2017: Change is on the Menu...

Join us for the 7th annual Sustainability Institute for Educators as we focus the conversation on food and our schools.  The Institute will feature a mix of special guest speakers, tools and resources, and hands-on experiences.   


More than 5.5 billion lunches and nearly 2 billion breakfasts are served yearly in school programs. Those meals, along with complementary education programs, can have a profound effect on issues of public health, academic performance, economics, social justice, the environment, and community well-being. 


Topics will include changing the cafeteria landscape, food waste and sustainable disposal, wellness and nutrition, schoolyard gardens, food policy & laws, and more! Bring a team, or come by yourself. The Institute is designed for all members of the educational community including teachers, informal educators, and administration.


 $150 registration fee includes speaker fees, breakfast and lunch for all three days. Graduate credit is available!  Hosted at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, St. Louis, MO

 Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and face the challenges of community issues as part of the school culture
  • Recognize local resources that can support curriculum and changes for sustainability
  • Collaborate with others to empower young citizens
  • Create a community of advocates for sustainable schools and communities
  • Setting a foundation for whole school sustainability

“Space at the Table: Developing a School Food Program with ALL Stakeholders”

Keynote Speaker: Marney Coleman, Sustainability Coordinator for the Academy of Global Citizenship (AGC)

The Academy for Global Citizenship is a Chicago Public Charter School, located on the underserved Southwest side of Chicago. Their innovative and holistic approach to education aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates our future generations.Food plays a big role in their approach. Organic, scratch-made, nutritionally balanced and locally sourced meals highlight AGC’s innovation and commitment to sustainability and raising healthy students, while providing children with knowledge that enhances their educational experience by encouraging mindful eating. They celebrate “Meatless Mondays” and always have a vegetarian or vegan option. Through reusable products and composting, AGC runs a zero-waste food program.

Marney Coleman serves as AGC's Sustainability Coordinator and aims to foster a culture of stewardship at the school. She has worked in schools and environmental education organizations in Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; and Chicago. Some of her favorite work with students has been piloting a student-run farmers market, designing and building solar ovens, and creating garden smoothies with a bicycle-powered blender!  Marney is inspired by witnessing young students’ wonder and excitement about the natural world and observing older students thinking critically about how they can be problem solvers in the environment.

Links to Relevant Resources/Articles:

Why every child deserves a learning garden

USDA Wellness Plan/Policy resources

He Grew Up Hungry Now He Wants to Revolutionize School Lunch


Schedule of Events -link to the agenda at a glance flyer here

Tuesday, June 20

AWARENESS-The Importance and Interconnections of School Food

 Keynote Speaker

Breakout sessions


Wednesday, June 21

RESPONSIBILITY-The Process of Making Changes at Your School


Breakout sessions


Thursday, June 22

TAKE ACTION-Community Food Resources and Programs

Resource Fair

Field Trip-Food Roof, STL Composting, Gateway Greening School Garden


Event Information

Registration Information

The cost of the 3-day Institute is $150. This includes breakfasts and lunches.  For more information, contact

Graduate Credit

The Institute may be taken for 3 hours of graduate credit through Webster University for an additional $510. To register for credit, please contact

Event Location

The event will take place at MICDS, 101 N Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63124, 8am – 4pm.

 SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE!! The organizers for the 2017 Sustainability Institute for P12 Educators are offering scholarships for teachers and administrators.

For those seeking scholarships, please contact Kim Petzing before registration at

Preference for scholarships will be given but not limited to:

  • Schools with 75% free and reduced lunches
  • Schools/Districts sending multiple participants
  • Schools participating in the Green Schools Quest
  • Participant agreement to attend all three days of conference

If you plan to take the Institute for graduate credit contact to register.

The Sustainability Institute is hosted by:

  • Webster University, School of Education
  • EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Green Schools Council of Madison County, Illinois
  • US Green Building Council–Missouri Gateway Chapter
  • Saint Louis Zoo, Education Division
  • Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School

    madco    MICDS   Missouri Botanical Garden  Missouri Gateway St. Louis Zoo Logo Webster University