United States Environmental Protection Agency Awards Environmental Education Grant to Dream in Green

by Karla Utting

$91,000 awarded for the implementation of the Green Schools Challenge, Water and Energy Learning and Behavior, and Green Leadership Grants programs

August 18, 2016Miami, FL. – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that Dream in Green, Inc. (DIG) is the recipient of the 2016 Region 4 Environmental Education Grant and will receive funding to implement the Dream in Green Academy (The Academy) starting in October 2016 at the outset of the new academic year. EPA received approximately forty eight (48) applications from the southeastern United States and awarded funding to three (3) organizations, making the process very competitive.

The funds will support the development and implementation of The Academy which builds upon and enhances DIG’s environmental education programs for K-12 schools. These programs include the Green Schools Challenge (GSC), the organization’s longest-running K-12 environmental education program, and the three-year community-education series, Water and Energy Learning and Behavior (WE-LAB). The Academy will increase the programs’ capacity to enroll more schools, conduct educational workshops and add a grant component. The Green Leadership Grants program will support K-12 schools in the implementation of the GSC and WE-LAB by funding projects that promote environmental sustainability and behavioral changes.

The Academy houses DIG’s innovative environmental education programs for K-12 schools and community residents. Our programs engage and inspire students, teachers, parents and residents to mitigate the impacts of climate change through actions at their schools, homes and communities. Through The Academy, DIG will deepen the knowledge and understanding of the environmental challenges confronting Miami-Dade and increase community-wide awareness and literacy of climate change.

With the funding received from the EPA, we will be able to deliver the Green Schools Challenge in over 100 schools and offer WE-LAB workshops, in collaboration with Miami-Dade Water & Sewer and Department of Solid Waste Management, in 10 different locations countywide, such as schools, libraries, community centers, or municipal recreation centers, educating a minimum of 300 homeowners and renters. We have $22,750 available to give out as grants to elementary and secondary schools to support student Green Teams in the creation of ‘green’ initiatives and transformation of school areas into ‘eco-hubs’.

“The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department has worked with Dream in Green for the last three years on the WE-LAB Program (Water Energy – Learning and Behavior) and plans on continuing this partnership. It is important for our youth to be educated on conservation habits that will transpire into adulthood,” said WASD Assistant Director of Planning and Regulatory Compliance, Bertha Goldenberg.

DIG has been implementing environmental education programs in South Florida for a decade now and it is fair to say that the EPA has been a key funding agency in the evolution of our programs. This is the third time in ten years that DIG secures funding from the highly competitive U.S. EPA’s Environmental Education regional grants program. The grants received have provided DIG staff with a framework to work towards in the development and implementation of the Green Schools Challenge, WE-LAB and now the Green Leadership Grants.

Dream in Green is both honored and humbled to receive the opportunity to expand environmental education opportunities for students in Miami-Dade County. We are grateful to the EPA, as well as to our partners at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade County’s Water and Sewer and the Solid Waste Management departments for their ongoing support of Dream in Green’s programs,” said Allie Miles, Chair of Dream in Green’s Board of Directors.

For more information about The Dream in Green Academy and its programs please contact Karla Utting – karla@dreamingreen.org

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