Northern Kentucky University
received a $22,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation
to kick start hands-on environmental programs at area middle schools.
NKU's Center for Environmental Education
will work with five middle schools to develop real-word, school-based programs that promote "reduce, reuse and recycle" waste management initiatives.
The initiatives will be student-led, with guidance from teachers and administrators, and developed to respond to each school's unique circumstances. Students will inventory their schools' current waste management programs, including conservation, recycling and disposal of waste. They'll then suggest improvement projects.
Particiapating schools will be Turkey Foot Middle School, Holmes Middle School, Tichenor Middle School and St. Thomas Middle School. NKU is waiting to confirm a fifth school.
"Students at this age level become very excited about participating in activities that are meaningful and show evidence that they can make a difference," says center director Steve Kerlin, PhD. "Excitement and participation in school-wide programs, such as school recycling programs, provide students with a sense of ownership in their school and their education. As students feel part of their school community, they are likely to become empowered to continue to be engaged in their learning and school community through graduation."
This project is part of the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools Program
, a nationally recognized, state-wide program that is the only one of its kind in the nation. Its broad aim is to encourage "students and staff to move their school toward becoming safer, healthier and more environmentally sustainable" by making schools a learning lab for problem-solving.
"This partnership, which meets at the intersection of education and environment, will help us to build on our commitment to supporting sustainability efforts across the U.S. We look forward to working with NKU to make a better tomorrow," says David McFaddin, regional director of AT&T Kentucky external and legislative affairs.
The grant was awarded as NKU expands its School- and Field-Based Environmental Education Program in the next five to seven years.
By Feoshia Henderson
Follow Feoshia on Twitter