KIDS for the BAY Wins John Muir Conservation Award

KIDS for the BAY (KftB) received the John Muir Conservation Award for environmental education at an exciting ceremony on November 5, 2011. The John Muir Association recognizes four organizations annually whose work continues the legacy of John Muir in education and environmental preservation. Organizations are recognized in one of four categories: Conservationist of the Year, Environmental Education, Non-Profit or Public agency, and Business. This award was presented to KIDS for the BAY in recognition of our outstanding achievements in environmental education over the past nineteen years, including 56,000 Inspired Environmentalists, who have participated in KIDS for the BAY programs, and taken action to help solve environmental problems in their local communities.

“I am thrilled for KIDS for the BAY to receive this recognition for our important work inspiring young people to help take care of the environment we all share.” 
Mandi Billinge, Executive Director/Founder, KIDS for the BAY



KIDS for the BAY staff, Sheela Shankar, Deborah Zierten, Bhavana Mody, and Mandi Billinge, attended the awards ceremony and enjoyed connecting with donors and supporters as well as other award recipients.



KIDS for the BAY Executive Director and Founder, Mandi Billinge, accepted the Award for KIDS for the BAY and gave an inspiring speech about our work in environmental education.

KftB Wins 2009 California GEELA Award!

geela-mandiOn September 30, 2009, KIDS for the BAY received California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor: the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the Children’s Environmental Education category. The GEELA recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, and building public-private partnerships. Executive Director Mandi Billinge had the exciting opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to attend the reception, held at the Governor’s Global Climate Summit 2, and receive the award from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. KIDS for the BAY is honored to receive state-wide recognition for our important work in delivering quality environmental and science education to our under-funded, under-resourced public elementary schools.

In the 2008-09 school year, thanks to our generous funders and supporters, we provided academic enrichment and engaging hands-on learning opportunities to 2,980 students. We delivered quality professional development in environmental science education for 152 teachers, and provided opportunities for hundreds of students’ parents to actively participate in their children’s education. Our classes of students and teachers became stewards of their environment and worked to protect, beautify, and restore natural habitats within the San Francisco Bay Area.

KIDS for the BAY Wins National NAAEE Award

NAAEE-awardOn October 18, 2008, KIDS for the BAY was presented with a prestigious and competitive national award from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The NAAEE recognized KIDS for the BAY for “Outstanding Service to Environmental Education” by an organization at the local level. The NAAEE hosts a professional development conference every year that brings together environmental educators and professionals nationally and globally with the purpose of promoting excellence in the field of environmental education. KIDS for the BAY Education Director Shefali Shah attended the conference to receive the award and was recognized at a luncheon award ceremony.

Since 1992 KftB has partnered with 44,000 students and 2,000 teachers. Our programs turn school students on to science, empower students to take environmental action and create a lasting impact through our unique Teacher Training and School Wide Impact models. Our commitment to best practices inspires our commitment to multicultural environmental education and diversity. Through our ten environmental education programs, KftB students are empowered to take action and change the environment one neighborhood at a time.
“ Receiving this award on behalf of KIDS for the BAY was not only an honor for me, but an incredible recognition of our organization’s work over the past 16 years. I was happy to have been chosen by KIDS for the BAY to receive this national award that acknowledges KIDS for the BAY as a leader in the field of environmental education.”
— Shefali Shah, Education Director, KIDS for the BAY

KftB Recognized Nationally and Locally with Two Awards

Coastal Living’s Educational Award

In Coastal Living’s March Edition they will be awarding KIDS for the BAY with a full page feature article on our Watershed Action Program!

Contra Costa Watershed Project of the Year

The Contra Costa Watershed Forum is recognizing KIDS for the BAY’s outstanding student led restoration action projects on creeks in Contra Costa county!

KIDS for the BAY Open House/Award Celebration

On June 2nd, KIDS for the BAY held an Open House to bring together everyone in the extended KftB family and celebrate our EPA award. It was a packed event complete with kids creating clay models of San Francisco Bay and investigating worm compost bins while adults visited and snacked on a tasty spread provided by Back to Earth Organic Catering.
We are extremely grateful to all the donors who helped make the event a success:

Berkeley Bowl
Crixa Cakes
DonSueMor Madeleines
Peaberry’s Coffee and Tea
Trader Joe’s
Our special thanks to Frey Vineyards for contributing their purely organic (and very enjoyable) wines.

KIDS for the BAY wins the 2005 EPA Environment Award

Berkeley, CA (May 4, 2005) — KIDS for the BAY is proud to announce that it has won an EPA Environmental Achievement Award for 2005.

“We are thrilled to receive this award not only because it recognizes our own staff’s hard work to promote environmental awareness and
responsibility in young people, but also because it recognizes the work that our many students have done to help clean-up and restore San Francisco Bay and its urban creeks,” said Mandi Billinge, Executive Director and Founder of the Berkeley-based nonprofit.

KIDS for the BAY is a project of Earth Island Institute and currently works in 60 schools in low income areas around the San Francisco Bay area. Since its inception over 12 years ago, the organization has taught hands-on, environmental science to more than 25,000 elementary school students.

KIDS for the BAY creates on-going environmental education programs and promotes active restoration and stewardship of local habitats. It provides long-term, in-depth, experiential training for teachers. At target schools, the organization’s programs are written into the School Wide Development Plan.

“We are pleased to see KIDS for the BAY receive this award because its ‘School-Wide Creek Program’ has been the major highlight of this year at our school,” said Minh-Tram Nguyen, Principal at Encompass Academy Elementary School in Oakland. “During the period of time that KIDS for the BAY has been teaching here, students’ achievement levels have increased markedly.”

The U.S. EPA Region 9’s Environmental Achievement Awards program seeks to recognize those working to protect and preserve the environment. Winners of this year’s Awards were selected from a pool of 175 nominees from California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Selection was based on a project’s long term benefit for the environment; promotion of innovative ideas, techniques, and/or technologies; and ability to be widely replicated.

KIDS for the BAY students interview politicians about environmental justice issues in their neighborhoods and teach their families about environmental protection. They have planted thousands of trees and wildflowers along urban creeks; cleaned tons of trash from school neighborhoods; and helped to reduce the waste stream from their schools.

“Our program shows teachers how they can use the local environment as a key educational resource to stimulate students’ learning,” noted Billinge. “Our students become stewards of their local environment and feel empowered to help solve local environmental problems. They are also more excited about learning.”

EPA Award Acceptance Speech
Given by Mandi Billinge, Executive Director/Founder

I would like to thank the EPA for recognizing our work in Environmental Education. I would also like to thank Sheela Shankar, Ket Ashfield and Tony DeCicco, who are here today from KIDS for the BAY.

Over the past twelve years, we have partnered with 25,000 school students on urban habitat restoration, pollution reduction and safe bay food consumption projects.

Our schools are in very urban areas. For example, every one of our schools in Richmond is within a one-mile radius of a polluting facility.

We do teach our children that everyone has the right to live in a clean and healthy environment and we teach them the tools to take action.

Our students interview politicians about environmental justice issues in their neighborhoods. They reach out and teach environmental messages to their families. They have planted thousands of trees and wildflowers along urban creeks, cleaned tons of trash from school neighborhoods and helped to reduce the waste stream from their schools.

Our children have a lot of hope for their environment and they are the future leaders of the environmental movement.

Mandi Billinge
KIDS for the BAY