FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2016) – The Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) has been awarded a $91,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to train teachers about water-quality education and fund student water stewardship projects in the state through the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools (KGHS) program.
The grant will support teacher training in scientific concepts about water. It will also allow the KGHS program to offer competitive grant funding to its network of more than 200 schools for the design and implementation of student-led projects to improve water quality and/or conservation in schools and local communities.
KEEC will work closely with its partners, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Division of Water, and schools in the KGHS program to implement the two-year grant project.
"I'm very grateful to the U.S. EPA and our grant partners for making this project possible," said KEEC Chairperson Horace Brown. "Together we will improve student and teacher scientific and environmental literacy while helping communities address concerns about water quality at the local level."
Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said that the teacher workshops KEEC is planning can meet essential training needs expressed by teachers. "Our teachers are seeking ways to help students understand science in a three-dimensional way. These workshops will give teachers additional skills, resources and increased confidence to engage students in science education that uses real-world science and engineering practices to explore and understand the natural phenomenon of water," he said.
The Licking River Basin coordinator at the Kentucky Division of Water, Chad Von Gruenigen, expressed his support as well. "In addition to helping individuals understand how their daily actions impact water quality, my job is to help communities take steps that improve water quality at the local level. As a Certified Professional Environmental Educator through KEEC, I am happy to help students and teachers learn about their local river basin, and provide them with technical support as they design and implement environmental stewardship projects that conserve water and improve water quality."
In its survey of Kentuckians conducted in 2013, KEEC found that Kentuckians are more concerned with water quality and conservation than any other environmental issue.
KEEC is a state agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. For more information about KEEC, visit keec.ky.gov.