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University of the Virgin Islands Gets $5,000 EPA Education Grant; Will Design Environmental Comic Book for 8 to 10 Year-Olds

Release Date: 08/02/2000
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(#00144) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has awarded a $5,000 grant to the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas to support the school’s efforts to produce much-needed environmental educational materials for students ages 8 through 10. Together with the Sea-Grant Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service, the Math and Science Department of the University will develop a comic book that will appeal to this age group, and teach children about the need to preserve the Virgin Islands’ environment and how humans can impact fragile tropical ecosystems like coastal zones.

"When it comes to environmental conservation, educating our children is perhaps the most important thing we can do," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "The University of the Virgin Islands is working to build attitudes, lifestyles and critical thinking skills among young people that will make them better stewards of the world they will inherit. We are proud to support the University’s efforts and look forward to seeing the results of its good work."

In addition to developing the materials, the University will provide an interactive field experience for 400 students at its MacLean Marine Science Center to augment what the students have learned from the comic book activities. The University also plans to widely distribute the comic book at Coastweek and Earth Day events.

Since 1992, EPA’s Environmental Education grants program has provided financial assistance to non-profits, educational institutions and local and tribal government agencies that help communities understand and care about what are often complex environmental issues. For information on how to apply for an environmental education grant, contact Teresa Ippolito, EPA Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, at (212) 637-3675.