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Dear colleague:

I am pleased to help introduce the 2009-2010 Disney Planet Challenge? and encourage your district to participate in this wonderful program. The California Department of Education has partnered with Disney on this innovative program since 1994, and educators across our state credit it with sparking great enthusiasm for environmental education among teachers and students alike.

As you’ll learn in this special report, Disney Planet Challenge gets children to think and act environmentally at school and at home. It’s an educationally sound, cross-curricular program for projectbased learning, while of course having just the right touch of Disney magic to make it fun and engaging for today’s students.

"A worthy program
that will benefit your
students and your
local environment."

While Disney Planet Challenge encourages students to think and act responsibly toward the environment, California educators have discovered that it also delivers other valuable classroom benefits, such as fostering teamwork, improving problem solving skills and encouraging a lifelong love for learning.

Until now, Disney Planet Challenge was available in the United States only to schools in California and Florida. This year, to accommodate growing interest, Disney is expanding the program nationwide. It’s an ambitious endeavor to stimulate increased environmental awareness among our nation’s youth, and I commend Disney and its employees for their efforts in this regard.

I invite you to find out more about Disney Planet Challenge from the articles in this publication, and to share it with your central office colleagues and your building principals. Disney Planet Challenge is a worthy program that will benefit your students and your local environment, and I hope you’ll get involved.


Jack O’Connell

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

California Department of Education