• Co-founder & CEO Philippe Cousteau joined by former President Bill Clinton and Grammy Award winner Usher Raymond IV to announce unprecedented service learning program reaching millions of U.S. middle and high school students
NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 24, 2009 -- EarthEcho International, a nonprofit environmental education and youth leadership organization working to restore and protect our water planet, today announced its Water Planet Challenge program at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)'s fifth annual meeting. The Water Planet Challenge will foster tomorrow's conservation leaders by filling a critical need in America's classrooms that currently lack unified ocean and fresh water systems education and service-learning content. It will revolutionize the environmental movement by pioneering the development of technologies that measure the collective impact of service experiences. Discovery Education, the division of Discovery Communications serving more than half of all U.S. schools with digital curriculum solutions scientifically shown to improve academic achievement and Planet Green, Discovery's multiplatform brand devoted to the environment and sustainable living, have signed on as official partners of the initiative.
"Water is the single most precious substance on the planet. It is not only a universal entry point to environmental issues, it is also a universal necessity of our everyday lives," said EarthEcho International Co-Founder and CEO Philippe Cousteau. "Though the natural environment is a leading interest of students currently participating in service experiences, there is very little content that exists to support them. If we truly want to save what my grandfather called our water planet then we must arm youth with the knowledge, skills and tools to take action to do so."
Formally launching in January 2010, the Water Planet Challenge will provide every middle and high school student in the country with access to service-learning lesson plans created by Youth HandsOn Network that model multiple service opportunities (volunteerism, consumer campaigns, product development, and civic action) to support the health of the environment , and position local action within a global context. Students and teachers will also have access to standards-aligned, ocean and water-related curriculum enhancement content for middle and high school students. The collective results of these projects will be measured through innovative digital tracking tools designed specifically for this effort by Validifi Technologies.
EarthEcho International is leading a powerful consortium of service-learning content developers, education distribution organizations, and an innovative technology provider to create the highest quality experience. Planet Green is the official media partner for the Challenge, while Discovery Education will serve as one of the education partners, bringing the Water Planet Challenge to millions of U.S. high school and middle school students -- making it the largest environmental service- learning program in the country.
Other partners include America's Promise Alliance, City Year, Validifi Technologies, Youth HandsOn Network, and Usher's New Look Foundation. New Look Foundation Chairman and Founder, Usher Raymond IV, joined Philippe Cousteau and President Bill Clinton on stage during today's CGI plenary session to discuss the collaboration and how EarthEcho International will be bringing environmental service to their Powered by Service initiative.
EarthEcho International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. EarthEcho International's mission is to empower youth to take action that restores and protects our water planet. For more information about EarthEcho International, visit http://www.earthecho.org/.