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Release Date: 09/18/98
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Before teaching a 4th grade class at the Yorkwood Elementary school in Baltimore today as part of the Clinton Administration’s Back-to-School initiative, EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner announced $3 million in grants for environmental education in schools across America.
The Clinton Administration’s Back-to-School initiative is aimed at ensuring that children receive the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st Century. Providing schools and organizations across the nation with important tools and resources to better teach and understand environmental issues is an important part of the Administration’s education agenda. The announcement included a grant to the Irvine Natural Science Center in Stevenson, Md., that will benefit the Yorkwood school and 20 other Baltimore area schools and community centers. Through the Center’s Natural Connections Project, high school volunteers will be taught to lead elementary school students through hands-on environmental activities. The Project is aimed at inspiring enthusiasm among students about natural science, and engaging them in investigations of the plants, animals, and ecological relationships within their own neighborhoods.

"As we move into the 21st Century, one of the Clinton Administration's highest priorities is ensuring that all Americans receive a quality education," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "Today's announcement provides important resources for schools across the nation to help students better understand their local environment and get involved in their communities."

The environmental education grants program was established under Section 6 of the National Environmental Education Act of 1990. The grants program was established to assist schools, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and state, local and tribal governments in developing projects that will benefit the environment while educating the public. Since 1990, more than $16 million in grant funds have been awarded to almost 1,500 recipients. In making selections, EPA gives priority to projects that address health problems, particularly those that affect children, education reform programs, and outreach and community programs for the public.

Attached is a list of the environmental education grants which total $3 million.
R-125 # # #



Adopt-A-Watershed - $40,831
Jesse Miller, 731 Market St., Suite 600A, San Francisco, Calif. 94103

Leadership Institute
The National Resources Conservation Service has joined in partnership with Adopt-A-Watershed Leadership Institute in developing four leadership teams to develop environmental education programs to educate the general public about local environmental issues. The leadership teams consist of eight teachers, four community coordinators and two professors. A natural resource education course will be developed and pilot tested for education majors at A&M University and Tuskegee University in Alabama. The leadership teams will lead, train and support other teachers.


Nez Perce Tribal Foundation - $144,520
Patrick J. Sobotta, P.O. Box 365, Lapwai, Idaho 83540

Two-World View Environmental Education Project
The Nez Perce Tribal Foundation, in partnership with the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Department’s educational program, the University of Idaho, and seven public schools on the Nez Perce Reservation will develop and deliver an environmental education curriculum on watershed and forest management issues. The target audience will include elementary and secondary schools on the reservation, community teachers and students from the University of Idaho who major in environmental education, environmental science and natural resources.


Illinois Easter Seal Society - $95,322
Tom Berkshire, 2715 S. 46th, Springfield, Ill. 62703

TASK: Teaching Agricultural Safety to Kids
The educational priority of TASK is to address health issues and mitigate the human health threats from environmental pollution on children on Illinois farms and in rural communities. One hundred high-school students will be trained to teach grades 5-8 about rural environmental pollution and environmental hazards associated with farming. The high school students will be trained in materials usage, teaching techniques and leadership development. The curriculum will cover the environmental health and safety impacts of chemical run-off, chemical disposal, spills, solid waste burning, air quality issues around crop-dusting, and grain/feed confinement dust and molds. TASK curriculum has been translated into Spanish for use with migrant farm workers. Partners in this program are Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois FFA, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois EPA.


Murray State University - $120,186
Dr. Joe Baust, P.O. Box 9, Murray, Ky. 42071

Creating Connections for Parents, At-Risk Children, and Schools using Environmental Education
The Center for Environmental Education will conduct a training program for educators who teach low-income “at-risk” children, and includes outreach to the parents of these students. By providing teacher training, this program will build leadership capacity and help schools integrate curriculum using environmental education. Children and their parents will also participate in habitat-loss field trips. Partners in this project are West Kentucky Education Cooperative, West Kentucky Environmental Education Consortium, Kentucky Department of Education’s Regional Service Center, Family Resource Centers and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Land Between the Lakes program.


Irvine Natural Science Center - $56,535
Joe Harber, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson, Md. 21153

Natural Connections Project
The Natural Connections Project will train high-school students in Baltimore to guide elementary-school students through a series of hands-on environmental activities in the inner-city. Teachers will attend workshops designed to help build upon the project’s activities. The focus of the project will be natural science and will include investigating plants, animals and ecological relationships in the children’s own neighborhoods. Partners in this project are the Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.


Mississippi State University - $35,156
Joe Sumrall, Curriculum & Instruction, P.O. Box 9705, Mississippi State, Miss. 39762

Integrating Environmental Education into Math and Science Curriculum
This project will be administered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Mississippi State University and 12 secondary schools. Physical science and math teachers for grades 10-12 will attend a one-week summer workshop to develop lesson plans in which students are active participants in safeguarding the environment. Participating teachers will present their project-related research at national conferences and in education journals.


Lincoln-Lancaster Environmental Health Division - $53,900
Jane Storey, City-County Health Department, Lincoln, Neb. 68510

Environmental Education for Child-Care Providers
The Environmental Health Division will educate child-care providers about health hazards in the environment that create potential health risks to children. The primary educational topics will include lead, molds, cleaning agents and carbon monoxide. The project’s training will be presented in the form of workshops, presentations, health fairs and mailings to all licensed child-care facilities. Providers will also have the opportunity to earn credit hours from these educational presentations and have the credits apply toward their requirements for maintaining their licenses. Partners for this project are the University of Nebraska, Family Services Association, Nebraska Health and Human Services, Health Promotion Division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and local hospitals.


University of New Hampshire - $149,968
Mary Ellen Boelhower, Office of Sponsored Research, 111 Service Building,
51 College Rd., Durham, N.H. 03824

Project SERVE - High School Environmental Education
Project SERVE (Students for Environmental Resource Volunteerism and Education) offers high-school students an opportunity to earn academic credit for working with their community conservation groups on local resource protection projects. High-school students will work with their town conservation commissions to solve local environmental problems and work on conservation projects. Project topics will focus on ecosystem protection, such as water quality monitoring, pollution source identification and wetland evaluation. Approximately 700 high-school students, 100 community conservation organizations and mentors, and 35 schools and teachers will participate in this program. Partners for Project SERVE include multiple high schools and municipal conservation commissions.


Robert Wood Johnson Medical School - $110,000
Audrey R. Gotsch, University of Medicine and Dentistry, 170 Frelinghuysen Rd.,
PO Box 1179, Piscataway, N.J. 08855-1179

ToxRAP for Spanish Bilingual Classrooms
The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) will provide Spanish bilingual educators curricular materials for Spanish-speaking students through the adaptation of its program entitled ToxRAP (Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Pollution). The partner for this project is the University of Arizona. EOHSI will train bilingual educators to use the ToxRAP curricular materials at their annual summer institute.


North Dakota State University - $76,388
Theodore S. May, Teacher Education, 155 EML Hall, Fargo, N.D. 58105-5057

Engaging Middle Schools in Regional Environmental Issue Investigations
This project will provide professional development for middle-school teachers using a strong research-based curriculum to engage students in regional environmental issues. Participating teachers will learn to utilize interdisciplinary environmental education curricula to enhance their teaching skills and summer workshops will be conducted to train teachers on environmental education issues. The partner for this project is the Center for Instruction, Staff Development and Evaluation in Carbondale, Ill.


National Center for Farmworker Health - $87,727
E. Roberta Ryder, 1515 Capital of Texas Hwy. South, Suite 220, Austin, Texas 78746

Farmworker Environmental Education
Personnel from migrant worker health centers and education agencies will be trained to educate farmworkers about the dangers of exposure to pesticides, heat stress, infectious parasitic water-base, and the risk of infection due to lack of sanitary facilities at job sites. The National Center for Farmworker Health will work in partnership with seven migrant worker organizations across the country.


Norfolk Public Schools - $71,880
Syble B. Stone, 800 East City Hall Ave., Norfolk, Va. 23510

Maritime Pathways: Oyster Restoration
The Maritime Pathways project will focus on the restoration of habitat for the declining oyster population of the Chesapeake Bay. The main issues of the project are water quality, bay friendly gardening/lawn maintenance, community outreach and aquaculture studies. Students will collect and test water samples, maintain data bases, identify problems, hypothesize solutions and make decisions based on scientific research. The information gathered will be distributed to the community by way of newsletters, workshops, presentations to community organizations, public service booths at area festivals and through an Internet website. Maritime Pathway project partners are the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Elizabeth River Project and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.


Region 1 -- Kristen Conroy

Region 2 -- Terry Ippolito

Region 3 -- Nan Ides

Region 4 -- Rich Nawyn

Region 5 -- Suzanne Saric

Region 6 -- Jo Taylor

Region 7 -- Rowena Michaels

Region 8 -- Cece Forget

Region 9 -- Stacey Benfer

Region 10 -- Sally Hanft