Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc. announced that $7,788 has been awarded to schools in McCreary County for hands-on environmental education projects during the 2016-17 school year. The funding was awarded in November through the PRIDE Environmental Education Grant Program. The program was made possible by a grant to PRIDE from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
Overall, PRIDE awarded more than $85,000 to schools that applied for the grant program across 40 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The grants can be used for a variety of educational activities that help students appreciate and care for the environment and to serve their community.
In McCreary County, McCreary County Middle School, Pine Knot Primary and the McCreary County Extension Council were awarded grants. McCreary County Middle School will use the funds to purchase recycling containers and environmental education resource materials. Pine Knot Primary will build an outdoor classroom and equip it with electricity and running water. The McCreary County Extension Council will purchase beekeeping equipment and supplies and provide camp fees.
“I want to congratulate the grant recipients and thank the educators who are taking the lead in these projects,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson.
“We are fortunate to live in a region abundant with natural resources and it is critical that we teach our youth how to protect them,” said Wilson. “These education grants are a wonderful way to invest in future generations of environmental stewards and give them the tools necessary to protect the environment and teach others to do so as well.”
“PRIDE was founded in 1997 and as we prepare to celebrate our 20th anniversary is it great to look around and see we truly have created “A Generation of Change” in the way we think about and care for our environment,” Wilson continued.
Since 1997, PRIDE has awarded 1,596 grants that impacted 817,498 students across the region. Schools have used PRIDE funds for a wide variety of activities, such as starting recycling programs and building outdoor classrooms, nature trails, wetlands and greenhouses.
Promoting environmental education is a key component to PRIDE’s mission, which also includes cleaning up the region’s waterways and eliminating solid waste problems. Founded by Congressman Hal Rogers and the late General James E. Bickford, PRIDE, a nonprofit, works alongside citizens, teachers and elected officials to improve the region’s environment and quality of life.