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EPA Grants Bring Green Education to New York Teachers and Students

Release Date: 02/09/2009
Contact Information: Teresa Ippolito (212) 637-3671, ippolito.teresa@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) Green education is flourishing in New York and will grow with support from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency environmental education grants. Youngsters will learn how to protect themselves from asthma triggers while enjoying a lively interactive life. Teachers will explore energy, ecology, and conservation activities that will engage their students. High school students will green their school building, while other students and teachers study forestry in urban parks. These environmental stewardship projects were all made possible through EPA grants totaling more than $106,000.

“It is so important for young people to experience and understand how our air, water and land can be improved by people of all ages who know about and care for them,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “These programs will give educators and students the knowledge and skills they need to become the present and future caretakers of their environment.”

EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over $44 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including the National Environmental Education Foundation and the Environmental Education Training Partnership, have given thousands of formal and non-formal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.

The New York grant recipients are:

Alfred University, Alfred, NY
$12,000
(607) 871-2838
http://www.alfred.edu/

Alfred University will conduct workshops for undergraduate education students (pre-service teachers) and current (in-service) teachers on the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. GLOBE is a worldwide hands-on school-based science and education program that, in partnership with NASA and the National Science Foundation, fosters environmental stewardship, adherence to scientific methods and an understanding of how to use data to understand environmental conditions. Following the workshops, participants and their students will conduct GLOBE investigations during a field trip at Alfred. The university will provide follow up support to the teachers to ensure the effective implementation of the program at their schools.


CEC Stuyvesant Cove
$10,000
(212) 505-6050
http://www.stuyvesantcove.org/envcenter.shtml

Students at Manhattan Comprehensive High School will use their school building as a study site to assess energy, water, and food usage, as well as waste production. They will create a detailed proposal to make their school more efficient and environmentally friendly, including a plan for capital renovations. This project will use existing curricula and resources to pioneer a new environmental educational strategy incorporating science, art, design, community stewardship, and career development with an emphasis on creativity, applied problem solving and career training.


City Parks Foundation
$34,200
(212) 360-1399
http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/

The City Parks Foundation will use EPA’s funding to support its “Seeds to Trees" program, which provides classroom lessons and parkland field experiences for students and workshops and ongoing assistance throughout the school year for teachers at schools throughout New York City’s diverse communities. The program units include: forest ecology, urban wildlife and human impact, geology, decomposition and waste reduction and water conservation. Students and educators develop the awareness, knowledge, skills and understandings to become stewards of their local environments and urban parks.


The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
$15,000
718-601-1460
http://www.vancortlandt.org/

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park’s Summer Environmental Internship Program will give thirty New York City high school students first hand experience in urban park management by giving them summer jobs within Van Cortlandt and other New York City parks. The students’ work will engender an understanding of the importance of and difficulties of protecting the natural environment in parks that are enjoyed by thousands of visitors. As they work with environmental professionals, the student interns will acquire environmental knowledge and skills and perform tasks reflecting their commitment to environmental stewardship.


The POINT Community Development Corporation
$15,000
718-642-4139
http://www.thepoint.org/

The POINT will use EPA funding to teach fourth, fifth and sixth graders in New York City’s Hunts Point section of the Bronx about air quality issues that can impact their health and exacerbate diseases like asthma. An interactive live performance of a play that teaches about air quality called "Jackie and the Beanstalk," will be proceeded by classroom work and lessons about factors that impact air quality. Students will also learn how to avoid asthma triggers and minimize the risk of asthma and preserve good health for themselves and their community.


Wildlife Conservation Society
$19,949
(718) 220-5100
http://www.wcs.org/sw-wcs_in_new_york

The Wildlife Conservation Society will use its grant money to launch Voyage from the Sun, an on-line training course for Middle School teachers in New York and across the U.S. The online course, directed towards teachers, focuses on the links between energy, ecology, conservation and climate change. The course will equip educators with methods to teach students how the extraction of energy sources and use of energy impact ecosystems and effective ways to ameliorate those impacts.


For more information on EPA’s environmental education programs, go to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed. Find out more about the grants program at http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html. EPA’s environmental education web sites are: http://www.epa.gov/kids for Pre-K through Grade 4; http://www.epa.gov/students for middle grade students; http://www.epa.gov/highschool for high school students and http://www.epa.gov/teachers for educators.

In addition to its ongoing environmental education program and other programs aimed at youth, EPA celebrates Children's Health Month each October by developing publications and activities that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. EPA has launched a new campaign to educate middle and high school students about climate change and its effects on children's health. Teens will create a new climate for action by taking action to address global climate change and encouraging their friends and families to do the same. For more information on the new campaign, visit http://www.epa.gov/climateforaction/.
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