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Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance Selected to Receive $200,000 EPA Grant for Grassroots Latino Environmental Education (GLEE)

Release Date: 06/09/2014
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., June 9, 2014) - The Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance has been selected to receive a $200,000 grant from EPA’s Environmental Education Grant Program to develop and implement a comprehensive environmental education program specifically designed to reach the city’s under-served Spanish-speaking Latino community.

The Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance (OHKA), a nonprofit organization, has a mission of bringing awareness and education to local families about environmental hazards, healthy homes, lead poisoning and energy efficiency. For the implementation of the EPA grant, OHKA will partner with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Public Health.

Together, OHKA and UNMC will implement the Grassroots Latino Environmental Education (GLEE) project, a two-year comprehensive community grassroots environmental education program focusing on indoor environmental issues, indoor air quality, household toxic chemical safety, and healthy housing.

By creating strong local partnerships among different organizations working with Omaha’s Latino community, GLEE will provide the necessary tools for Latinos to build greater awareness in the community and promote behavioral changes resulting in healthier environments, particularly for low-income Spanish-speaking Latino families.

As in many Midwestern cities, Omaha’s growing Latino population is transforming the local demographic and economic landscape. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Omaha’s Latino population totaled 13.1 percent in 2010, currently with a poverty rate of 26.9 percent. A majority of Omaha’s Latino population lives in the southeastern part of the city – an under-served area with high levels of poverty, older housing, industrial facilities and limited public transportation – and with little to no environmental education.

GLEE’s outreach model will develop an environmental education curriculum and train community-based organizations and “promotores,” or local members of the community and Latino culture, as key, trusted educators. The promotores will teach neighbors, friends and family members in small groups about a range of issues related to human health and the environment.

Since 1992, EPA’s Environmental Education Grant Program has awarded more than 3,500 grants to eligible receivers. EPA seeks grant proposals that support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. The program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, and that will serve as models that can be replicated in a variety of settings.

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Learn more about EPA’s Environmental Education Grant Program

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Learn more about the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Public Health

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