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EPA Supports Teacher Training, Mentoring Programs in New Jersey

Release Date: 09/02/1998
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(#98120) New York, New York -- Seven environmental education projects in New Jersey, many focusing on teacher training and mentoring programs, have received a total of over $70,000 in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Agency announced today. The annual grants are awarded by EPA to non-profit organizations, educational institutions and local and tribal government agencies for educational projects designed to build greater understanding of the environment and concern about the impacts of pollution.

"Many of these projects have very far-reaching benefits, because they are designed to train teachers who will share their knowledge with students and other teachers for years to come," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "Teachers and students as well as parks and streams across New Jersey will benefit from EPA's funding, which encourages the development of effective environmental education at the grassroots level."

The annual grants are authorized under the National Environmental Education Act, which is currently up for re-authorization. EPA Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, received 104 applications requesting a total of $1.34 million in funding. The available $200,000 was distributed to 24 recipients from across EPA Region 2. For information on how to apply for an Environmental Education grant in EPA Region 2, contact Teresa Ippolito, EPA Region 2 Environmental Education Coordinator, at 212-637-3675.

The New Jersey Environmental Education grant recipients are:

Greater Newark Conservancy, 303-9 Washington Street, 5th Floor, Newark, NJ 07102 "Healthy Environment-Healthy Me," Teacher Training Project -- $24,425

The Greater Newark Conservancy (GNC), partnering with the Resource Center of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), will train 70 Newark elementary school teachers to use the "Healthy Environment - Healthy Me" curriculum. This program teaches students about possible environmental hazards and how to reduce environmental risk in their lives. EOHSI staff will train GNC staff who will then conduct seven workshops for Newark teachers. Areas of study include: My Environment and Me, Recycling: A Community Pollution Solution, Using my Safety Sense, Creating a Safer Environment. Exploring Water Pollution issues, Exploring Air Pollution issues and Garbage, Garbage, Garbage.

New Jersey Audubon Society, 9 Hardscrabble Road, PO Box 126, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 "Bridges to the Natural World: Environmental Education Workshops for Teachers in New Jersey" -- $23,250

The New Jersey Audubon Society will hold ten workshops across the state to familiarize teachers with a variety of New Jersey habitats and empower them to conduct student field trips in the outdoors. The program uses Bridges to the Natural World, an established curriculum that incorporates a variety of learning styles and is aligned with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Ten five-hour workshops will be held in different locations providing teachers with hands-on activities and lessons about the diversity and interdependence of species in a variety of New Jersey habitats. The inquiry-based program is student-driven, with the teacher interacting as facilitator.

County of Somerset, P. O. Box 3000, Somerville, NJ 08876-1262 "Non Point Source Pollution Workshop" -- $5,000

The program consists of a full-day workshop for middle school students and their teachers focusing on non-point source pollution especially as it affects the Great Swamp watershed. Planned for Earth Week 1999, the session will provide 80 students and 20 teachers with presentations, discussions and field activities to engage participants in watershed issues. Speakers and facilitators will be drawn from the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Center, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education and environmental organizations. Teachers will participate in sessions on teaching techniques for critical environmental issues.

East Brunswick Public Schools, 760 Route 18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 "Collaborative Stream Monitoring Program" -- $ 5,000

The project will educate East Brunswick students, parents and community members about the importance of clean water and the threat of environmental pollution to stream quality, human health and the water supply. This is a collaborative project involving the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, the public schools of East Brunswick and the parks and watershed groups in the township to monitor, compare and report data on Ireland Brook and Lawrence Brook. Two streamwalk-water sampling locations will be visited on a regular basis. Students, trained in water monitoring procedures, will collect and analyze data and share it with others in person and on local cable television.

Environmental Commission of Camden County, 1301 Park Boulevard, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 "Introducing Geographic Information System (GIS) Education for Environmental Awareness" -- $ 3,135

This program will present the concept of Geographic Information System (GIS) to Camden County educators, public environmental officials and the general public through workshops, lectures and presentations. Participants will learn about GIS technology and how to use it to make more informed assessments of their environment and environmental issues. By presenting case studies in which GIS has been applied, the project introduces the relevant environmental issues and trains educators and environmental groups to continue to use GIS to address future issues.

The Environmentors Project, 5301 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, D.C. 20015 (Project in Trenton, NJ) "Trenton High School Outreach Program" -- $5,000

Through the Environmentors Project, a community-based educational program for low- income communities, thirty Trenton teenagers will become involved with environmental issues affecting their community. Students participate in an eight month mentorship with a professional learning about environmental careers, environmental health risks in their communities and community action choices. The knowledge, skills and discipline acquired in the course will enable them to become environmental resources in their communities.

Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, 251 Phillip Street, Jersey City, NJ 07305-4699 "Environmental Education in the Urban Classroom" -- $ 5,000

The Liberty Science Center and the Interpretive Center at Liberty State Park will, through workshops and hands-on field experience, offer "Environmental Education in the Urban Classroom (EEUC)." The program's goals include educating teachers about local environmental issues, enhancing their teaching skills, and empowering educators to teach students about local environmental justice issues. Teachers will be drawn from urban schools in partnership with the Jersey City, Newark and Paterson, New Jersey school districts.

For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: