PRIDE awards $5,165 to schools in Taylor County

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By The Staff

In Taylor County, 409 students will gain hands-on experience in good stewardship practices during the school year, thanks to $5,165 in PRIDE environmental eeducation grants.

PRIDE recently announced that grants totaling $235,760 were awarded to 70 schools and nonprofit organizations across 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

In Taylor County, there were two grant recipients.

The Campbellsville Child Development Center received a $1,915 grant to enhance its outdoor classroom. During the one-year grant period, 100 students are expected to benefit from the improved facility, which can be used for years to come.

Campbellsville Middle School will use a $3,250 grant to enhance its outdoor classroom, which will be used by 309 students this year.

"Our goal is to help educators create fun, memorable lessons that will lead students to take care of the environment," said Tammie Wilson, vice president and chief operating officer for Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, the nonprofit organization that awarded the grants. "The grant applications showed that educators have solid project ideas, but they need resources to make their plans a reality, and that's where the PRIDE grants make such a difference."

"PRIDE has awarded education grants since 1998, and we're really seeing a return on that investment this year," said Jennifer Johnson, PRIDE program director. "Most grant recipients are building on projects that were started with previous PRIDE grants. For example, many grants will be used to enhance existing outdoor classrooms."

Since 1998, PRIDE has awarded 907 environmental education grants. The grants were used to build 360 outdoor classrooms, 112 greenhouses, 60 nature trails, 49 wetlands/rain gardens and 38 school recycling programs. According to the grant applications, 535,685 students benefited from the grants in the years they were awarded.

The PRIDE Environmental Education Grant program awards up to $3,250 annually to schools and nonprofit organizations. The funding supports projects that help young people understand the importance of a clean environment, personal responsibility and community pride. Grant recipients must match the grants with monetary or in-kind contributions worth 10 percent of the grant amount. Grant recipients may receive an additional $300 to operate service-oriented PRIDE Clubs.

Eastern Kentucky PRIDE encourages and assists communities to improve water quality, clean up solid waste problems and promote environmental education. PRIDE, which is funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was founded in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5) and Kentucky Environmental Protection Secretary James Bickford.

For more information, visit www.kypride.org or call the PRIDE office, toll free, at (888) 577-4339.