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Colegio Universitario del Este Environmental Education Project Gets Big Boost from EPA; Project Receives Nearly $25,000 in Funding from EPA

Release Date: 07/24/2001
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(#01086) New York, New York -- Demonstrating its continuing commitment to education about the importance of a clean environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given $24,998 to fund an environmental education project, developed by the Ana G. Mendez University System, Colegio Universitario del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Each year, the Agency helps fund projects that foster an understanding and respect for the environment.

"Even with all the progress we’ve made in cleaning up our environment in the past few decades, the future of our environment still very much depends on the knowledge and skills of individuals and their ability to understand how people interact with the environment," said William J. Muszynski, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. "By getting involved in hands-on projects like these, students of all ages will learn the lesson that we didn’t fully grasp just a few generations ago – that we are inextricably connected to and dependant upon the environment."

This project, called Integrating Environmental Health Education into the Pre-school Curriculum, will educate adults about how human behaviors can have an impact on young children who live in Carolina, Loiza, Canovanas and Rio Grande. These communities border the San Juan Bay Estuary, a site with a history of environmental degradation. There will be three sets of workshops for Head Start teachers, parents and pre-school education university students to provide instruction and materials to integrate environmental health education into the Head Start curriculum. The participating adults will develop an understanding of people’s impact on the environment and how to encourage behaviors in children that shield them from those impacts. The project will adapt and expand materials developed from an earlier EPA project in Puerto Rico to help children develop the knowledge and skills that promote better health.

EPA’s grant program supports environmental education projects that enhance the public’s awareness, knowledge, and skills, enabling them to make informed decisions that affect environmental quality. Since 1992, EPA has awarded $ 20 million in grants. For more information on EPA’s Environmental Education Grant program and how to apply for a grant, visit the Web site at: