US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Providence Group Awarded an EPA Environmental Education Grant

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BOSTON -- A Providence, R.I. organization was awarded a $150,000 environmental education grant by EPA for an environmental education program aimed at low-income teenagers.

The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island was one of 37 organizations in New England to apply for funding, and one of only two in New England to receive part of the $2.8 awarded nationally.

“Citizens who understand the environment and our challenges in keeping it clean will be best able to protect the air, water and land around us. We believe these grants will help children and adults learn more about what is needed to address the challenges of creating a clean and healthy environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

The funding will be used for the Community Environmental College, a two-year summer program for primarily teenagers of color from low-income urban areas. The project is aimed at teaching teens to improve conditions in areas disproportionately affected by environmental concerns. The program also teaches leadership through hands-on experiences with environmental education and program coordination. It is intended to encourage youth in careers that will address climate change and other environmental concerns. The program also emphasizes the effects of toxics on the human health and ways to make better choices.

'The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island is immensely grateful for EPA's recognition and critical support for the Community Environmental College program, and we are thrilled to share our curricula and youth-led pedagogy for environmental education,” said Julian Rodríguez-Drix, co-director of the Environmental Justice League of RI. “Together, we are cultivating a diverse new generation of environmental leaders that is capable of developing and implementing holistic community-based solutions to the intersecting crises that their generation is inheriting.'

EPA funds environmental education projects that focus on educating teachers, students, parents or the general public about human health problems. These issues range from pollution; improving teaching tools and techniques for educators through workshops; building state or local capability to develop and deliver environmental education or public outreach programs; or promoting environmental careers and stewardship among students through hands-on activities.

The program also encourages projects that educate members of a community through community-based organizations, or educates the general public through print, film, broadcast, or other media to be more environmentally aware and make environment friendly decisions in their day-to-day lives.

The other New England group awarded a grant was:

The Island Institute at 386 Main St. in Rockland, Maine, which received $100,000 to establish and support community energy teams, and provide them with action guides, energy investigation tools, and mini-grants. The aim would for energy teams including community members of all ages who would promote behavior changes and investments, and quantify the savings in dollars, kilowatt hours and pounds saved on greenhouse gas emissions. The project would develop and test a replicable model for a “K through Gray” an informal after-school environmental education program.

More information:

- How to apply for EPA environmental education grants: (www.epa.gov/enviroed)

- The 2015 Environmental Education Grant Solicitation Notice is expected to be released in this fall with an end of the calendar year deadline. Sign up for email notification of its release at www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html

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