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Environmental Education Gets Support from EPA Three grants to launch programs across New York State

Release Date: 07/17/2012
Contact Information: Terry Ippolito, 212-637-3671,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded grants that will support environmental education projects in New York. Teachers College of Columbia University was awarded a grant to support smaller environmental education programs and the Rochester Institute of Technology received a grant to teach child care providers how to reduce toxic hazards in their homes. In addition, the Yorkshire Pioneer School District, in Cattaragus County, received a grant to train teachers and students how to implement community based water pollution prevention programs.

“EPA’s support of projects, like those being launched by Teachers College, RIT and the Yorkshire Pioneer School District, underscores the importance of bringing knowledge of the environment to young people,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “”For example, the RIT grant is an example of efforts to improve the environment and health of our children, even the very youngest.”

Specifics of the grants are as follows:

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY $40,000

RIT will implement its “Reducing Prenatal, Newborn, and Young Children’s Exposure to Environmental Health Hazards through Parent Education Classes” project in an underserved upstate community. RIT will engage caregivers in environmental health workshops to teach participants how to reduce exposure to household toxics. The participants will be recruited from the Rochester City School District’s Young Mothers Program and Rochester General Hospital’s Prenatal and Postnatal Childbirth team. All materials developed for this series of workshops will be available online.

Yorkshire Pioneer Central School District, Cattaraugus County, Yorkshire, NY $30,573

The school district's program, “Pioneer Project to Safeguard Waterways and Restore Wildlife Habitat” reaches students, community members and farmers in a rural area. Participants will learn about and install strips of vegetation as part of a habitat restoration project to decrease pollution in the community. The program includes field trips, educational sessions, classroom instruction and active engagement in water quality improvement projects. Partners include Waste Management of New York, LLC and the Cattaraugus County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY $149,930

The Center for Technology and Social Change at Teachers College, in partnership with The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia’s Earth Institute, will use the EPA grant money to award sub-grants that will support hands-on environmental education in Kindergarten through 12th Grade classrooms. Teachers College will award sub grants in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A minimum of 19 sub grants of less than $5,000 will be awarded. Teachers College will support the sub-grantees by conducting a leadership summit, monthly webinars, and a blog to support communication among stakeholders. There will be a culminating conference to share projects and discuss implications for EE at the policy level. Information about the sub grants is available at .

    EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over $55 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including with 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.

    More information about EPA’s environmental education programs and a link to sign up for future environmental education grant announcements can be found at:

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