New Roots Charter School Launches Roots of Success Curriculum to Empower Green Careers

This spring, New Roots Charter School juniors and seniors are piloting the green workforce development program adopted by the City of Ithaca, Roots of Success. Thanks to generous support from the Park Foundation, students will receive Environmental Literacy certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, a credential that will be recognized by local employers benefitting from the City of Ithaca’s electrification initiative.

“Our partnership with New Roots Charter School is of great importance for the City of Ithaca, if we are to achieve our goals,” City of Ithaca Director of Sustainability Luis Aguirre-Torres said in a letter in support of the school’s charter renewal. “Its current emphasis on sustainability and environmental literacy, as well as on career and technical education, training through coursework, internships and apprenticeship programs, create the necessary career pathway for high school students wanting to pursue a college degree or wanting to join the workforce and obtain meaningful and fairly compensated employment.” 

“It is incredibly exciting to implement our environmental literacy and green careers program with a high school so deeply committed to sustainability and justice as New Roots,” stated Dr. Raquel Pinderhughes, who developed the Roots of Success program and is the city of Ithaca’s workforce development consultant. 

New Roots is a member of a new regional green workforce development consortium which, along with partners such as Tompkins Cortland Community College, will open up pathways for young people to bring their unique gifts and passions to the growing green economy in our region.

The school’s focus on sustainability has been highlighted in a new book, Trailblazers for Whole School Sustainability, which features inspiring stories from schools around the country that have re-imagined and transformed their communities by integrating sustainability into curriculum, culture, facilities, and operations. Founder, Principal and Superintendent Tina Nilsen-Hodges, authored a chapter about New Roots science teacher, David Streib, and his use of student-centered assessment.

New Roots Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school serving grades 9-12 that is open to any young person who is eligible to attend high school in New York State. Offering a private school education at a public school price, students prepare for lives of passion and purpose as they create and embrace new 21st century life opportunities through career and college preparation. Visit to learn more. To learn more about the Roots of Success program go to

#  #  #  #

For more information, contact Michael Mazza, Director of Community Engagement at New Roots Charter School, at