Founded in 2007, the mission of TeachingGreen is to enable a sustainable future for life on Earth through comprehensive and empowering environmental education for all.
What is TeachingGreen?
TeachingGreen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing environmental education for people of all ages and interests. Our mission is guided by three main goals:
- Raise awareness about our most serious environmental problems, both local and global
- Encourage people to consider the environmental impact of their day-to-day activities
- Help people adopt a lifestyle that sustains, rather than depletes, Earth’s natural resources
We currently offer the following programs and resources:
South Bay Eco Kids Nature Camps
Growing Up Green Tots
Growing Up Green Kids
The Green Life Guide to Sustainable Living
South Bay Eco Kids Nature Camps
If you have been looking for a quality nature camp for kids in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, you’ve found the ONLY educational nature camp for kids in the South Bay! At South Bay Eco Kids, children are immersed in nature while learning why nature is important and what we can all do every day to protect it.
Since South Bay Eco Kids launched in 2017, it has become extremely popular, selling out earlier and earlier with each passing year. So if you are interested in registering your child(ren) for camp, we suggest registering by mid-March to secure your spot(s).
Growing Up Green Tots (Preschool & Kindergarten)
Are you a preschool or kindergarten teacher? Do you believe in protecting the environment for the sake of your students' future? Do you want to empower them to become stewards of the environment that they will depend on throughout their lifetime? Yes?!
Then look no further than TeachingGreen’s Growing Up Green Tots program! Officially endorsed by actor and environmental leader Ed Begley Jr., this FREE program is the first program of its kind in this country.
Growing Up Green Tots makes it EASY for you to create a green and healthy classroom experience for your students. With minimal time and effort, you will be able to create a culture of conservation in your classroom, where waste is minimized, indoor air quality is improved, and Mother Nature is given the attention and respect that she deserves.
Learn More and Sign Up Today!
Growing Up Green Kids (Grades 1 - 5)
When it comes to protecting the environment, no one has more to lose than those who will inherit the planet that we leave behind: our children. We believe that children understand this and want a healthy environment for themselves and the wildlife that they love.
Our Growing Up Green presentations focus on three areas of environmental protection where children can make a real difference, in their own day-to-day lives: Recycling and Composting, Water Conservation, and Plastic Pollution. For health and safety reasons, and because of the nature of our presentations, we currently offer presentations for small groups only (25 children or fewer).
Our goal is to empower children to become stewards of the environment not just on tree-planting or beach clean-up days, but every day, for the rest of their lives.
The Green Life: A Guide to Sustainable Living for Adults
The Green Life, available for purchase at Amazon.com, is an easy-to-use, at-a-glance guide tosustainable living in the modern world. The 64-page comprehensive yet user-friendly guide will help you reduce the environmental impact of your day-to-day life in the areas of Transportation, Food, Home & Garden, Solid Waste and Household Toxics & Hazardous Waste.
This is not just a list of things you can do to save the Earth. It's a guide to the what, why and how of sustainable living. Laid out in a simple-to-read table format, it contains hundreds of tips and resources to help you save energy, water and other natural resources. Even people who already know a good deal about green living tell us that they get a lot out of the guide. Although this edition of The Green Life has been fine-tuned to the Los Angeles area, we guarantee that it can help you live a significantly greener life, regardless of your zip code.
To buy the Guide on Amazon click here, or search Amazon for "Jacecko" or "Teachinggreen." Learn more about the Guide here.
Who is TeachingGreen?
Kathleen Jacecko, Founder & Executive Director
Kathleen was raised in a household with one cardinal rule: conserve energy and water under all circumstances. These lessons in conservation, along with regular camping trips to Yosemite and other wild places in central and northern California, formed the foundation of Kathleen’s passion for protecting and restoring planet Earth and its many natural resources that are so fundamental to our way of life.
Kathleen holds a B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry and a teaching credential from the University of California, Irvine. While an undergraduate student, she worked in the research lab of atmospheric chemist F. Sherwood Rowland, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were depleting Earth’s protective ozone layer. Collecting air samples and analyzing them for various pollutants, Kathleen gained firsthand knowledge of the detrimental effects that human activity can have on the air that we breathe.
Fresh out of college in 1996, Kathleen worked as an Associate Producer at a large educational software company. After three years of corporate life, she decided to put her passion for education to good use and became a teacher at Redondo Union High School, where she taught physics and physical science, and incorporated environmental issues into her lessons whenever possible. Then in 2003, she left teaching to pursue a full-time career in the environmental field, a path which eventually led her to found TeachingGreen.
Before securing full-time work in the field, Kathleen volunteered with Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Heal the Bay, two local non-profit organizations working on water quality issues. She assisted Algalita with a study of industrial sources of plastic in the ocean, and as a member Heal the Bay’s Speakers Bureau, she educated children and adults about ocean pollution. She then went on to work for the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust and Santa Monica Baykeeper, where as Public Outreach Director, she developed, funded and ran the Clean Water Act: Empower the People Program. Through this program, she educated hundreds of Los Angeles residents about the Clean Water Act and the importance of citizen enforcement of this powerful but often unenforced law.
Now with TeachingGreen, the non-profit organization she founded in 2007, she is devoted to bringing comprehensive and inspiring environmental education to the public to help people live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Board of Directors
President - Raika Angelov
Raika was born and raised in former Yugoslavia (Montenegro) and currently lives in Redondo Beach with her husband and two young children.
Raika studied Economics at Belgrade University and Supply Chain Management at Michigan State University. Her professional background is in Supply Chain Management and Operations. She has spent most of her professional career helping young companies build their operations, improving their productivity, quality, and efficiency. She is currently a stay-at-home parent who is actively involved in her children’s school. Her passions are in gardening and baking.
Secretary - Kara Vecchiarelli
Kara was born and raised in Seoul, S Korea. Since S Korea is a small country with few natural resources, saving energy and water is a lifestyle there. Kara recalls recycling bottles and paper at school when she was in elementary school, and turning off electronics and water when not in use was emphasized throughout her childhood growing up in Korea.
Kara studied Nursing (BS) at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and worked as a RN in Seoul and Southern California over 15 years until her daughter was born in 2009. She has served as DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) chair for her daughter's school PTSA and as a council member for Korean National Unification LA.
Kara was diagnosed with breast cancer when her daughter was just 15 months old. This marked a turning point of her life, and since then, she has focused on living her life more meaningfully and bountifully. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, looking for happiness from little things and helping others. She believes that educating people, especially children, about climate change and other environmental problems, is the key to save the planet earth.
Treasurer - Jenny Simon
Jenny Simon has been a Professor at El Camino College in Torrance since 2004, where she teaches ESL classes to students from all over the world. From 2006-2011, she led the college’s efforts to implement Student Learning Outcomes and assessment; currently, she is spearheading the implementation of the Guided Pathways framework at the college.
Jenny graduated with a Bachelor’s in Language Studies and a Master’s in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California in 2006. She has lived all over the world, spending a year in Vienna, Austria, and almost two years in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia. She currently resides in Redondo Beach, CA with her husband, Greg, and three children, Norah, Clio and Ezra.