Tuesday, October 13, 2009

N.C. EE Partner Wins NAAEE Outstanding Service Award

Kim Bailey, Coordinator of Environmental Education in Georgia, won the Outstanding Service for Environmental Education by an Individual Award at the 2009 National Association for Environmental Education Conference in Portland.

Most of you in North Carolina may not know Kim, but you are familar with her work. Kim led the effort to develop the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA) Web site, which provides an integrated EE calendar and database for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tenneessee. The N.C. Office of Environmental Education was the first state agency to join with Georgia in the EPA Grant that funded the SEEA project. This partnership made the current N.C. Environmental Education Calendar and Resource Database possible. Kim worked especially hard to help the office integrate the functionality of the SEEA system into our existing Web site.

The Office of Environmental Education still works closely with Kim, who constantly looks for ways to improve the system so it can better serve the southeastern EE community. The project has also benefited the office by forging a closer working relationship with the other southeastern states.

Congratulations Kim on this very well-deserved award!

Pat Curley Wins National EE Award

The following was reprinted from the Fall 2009 Newsletter of the Enviromental Educators of North Carolina. Thanks to the EENC Board for reprint permission, and CONGRATULATIONS PAT!

Every year, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) awards the Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award to an outstanding educator who has successfully integrated environmental education into his or her daily education programs. The award is given to an educator who can serve as an inspiration and model for others. The Richard C. Bartlett Award honors teachers that are bringing environmental education into the curriculum and the community, not just teaching about environmental challenges but also engaging students in the solution. We are honored to announce that EENC Board Member, Pat Curley, was one of only two teachers nationally who received a certificate of merit. The following is the text from NEEF’s announcement:

While a teacher at the Onslow County Learning Center, a school for at-risk youth in North Carolina, Bartlett Certificate of Merit recipient Patrick Curley integrated environmental education into every aspect of his teaching. In response to his students’ diverse academic and social needs, Curley took an innovative approach tohis science instruction, often leading his students on “citizen science” expeditions into the 66-acres ofl ongleaf pine forest surrounding the school to monitor the local creek and record bird breeding activity. Students have taken what they have learned inthe classroom and created positive change in the community—including building a nature trail forthe Isaac Walton League, propagating native plants for donation to the Coastal Federation, and building and maintaining an oyster shell recycling facility that will help to rejuvenate oyster populations. During the 2008-2009 schoolyear, Mr. Curley served as a “teacher-coach” for the Onslow CountySchool District, helping his fellow teachers to use the world aroundthem as a framework for integratingthe curriculum. Mr. Curley directed students and teachers to the many resources that are available through private and public agencies in orderto support and enhance instruction of environmental issues. Curley’sstudents, many of whom were once afraid of nature, now take the lead on teaching other students aboutthe natural world, and many OCLC students who were once at-risk of academic failure and had a history of disruptive behavior have developed feelingsof accomplishment in Curley’s classroom. Students have performed well on state assessments, have fewer behavioral referrals, and in many cases have returned to a traditional school environment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Congresswoman Lois Capps Introduces New Environmental Education Bill

From the National Wildlife Federation:

Legislation Would Bolster NOAA’s Key Environmental Literacy Programs
WASHINGTON (September 25)—Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) this week introduced H.R. 3644, a bill to bolster the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) environmental and conservation education programs. The new bill would authorize a national Environmental Literacy Grant program as well as a regional Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program focused on local watersheds education. The legislation gradually increases funding levels over 5 years for both grant programs and authorizes new regional B-WET programs in major watersheds nationwide.

Kevin Coyle, Vice President of Education and Training, said:“The National Wildlife Federation applauds Congresswoman Capps for developing this important legislation to bolster critical NOAA environmental education programs that will give young people a better understanding of their local watersheds and help ensure our next generation of conservation stewards.“Hands-on environmental education helps children learn about the world around them. It is a world they will inherit and must learn to take care of. Environmental education is also good for student academic performance and hands-on environmental education connects children with nature. This legislation will provide opportunities for young people to ‘Be Out There’ and spend time outdoors learning about their local watersheds, bays, estuaries and coastal areas.” “In addition to the many academic and conservation benefits of environmental education, business leaders increasingly believe that an environmentally literate workforce is critical to America’s competitiveness in the 21st Century.”

NWF’s Be Out There™ campaign was designed to get families across the United States to open the door and get outside. A daily dose of the outdoors improves children’s physical, mental and emotional well being. The benefits of outdoor play are real: healthier kids with a life-long appreciation of wildlife and nature. Visit http://www.beoutthere.org/.

National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. Visit http://www.nwf.org/. Contact: Amanda Cooke, Communications Associate, at 703-438-6041 or cookea@nwf.org Patrick Fitzgerald, Senior Legislative Representative, at 202-870-0824 or fitzgeraldp@nwf.org