Project Learning Tree Awards 63 GreenWorks! Grants for Service-Learning Projects

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Project Learning Tree awarded 63 GreenWorks! grants to schools and organizations across the country to involve students in community-based environmental projects. Nearly 14,000 students in 33 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the different projects.

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These grants help students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world.

Project Learning Tree® (PLT), the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation (AFF), announced today that it awarded 63 GreenWorks! grants to schools and organizations across the country to involve students in community-based environmental projects. Nearly 14,000 students in 33 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the different projects.

GreenWorks! is the service-learning component of Project Learning Tree that engages educators, students, and their communities in “learning-by-doing” local environmental stewardship projects. Since 1992, AFF has distributed more than $1 million to fund more than 1,000 PLT GreenWorks! action projects in communities across the country. The USDA Forest Service funded all GreenWorks! grants this year, up to $2,000 each.

“These grants help students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world,” said James McGirt, PLT manager of education programs. “Youth engage with the local community, and develop their critical thinking and leadership skills as they work to improve the environment.”

The GreenWorks! grants announced this week will fund elementary through high school students as they design native plant gardens, restore streams and riparian habitat, and educate others about environmental issues, among other projects.

For example, with GreenWorks! support:

  •     In Baltimore, Maryland, the Parks & People Foundation will work with elementary students at Windsor Hills Elementary Middle School and Southwest Baltimore Charter School to turn their school grounds into gardens;
  •     In Brunswick, Maine, students at Brunswick Junior High will make a house more energy-efficient and collect data on the impact of their efforts;
  •     In Indianapolis, Indiana, students in grades 2 through 6 will develop an outdoor learning laboratory on school grounds, including an area for weather instruments, a rain garden, and new trails;
  •     In Kansas City, Missouri, teens involved with Green Works of Kansas City will develop creative ways to encourage community members and businesses to reduce the amount of single-use food packaging used in stores and carry-outs.
  •     In Nashville, Tennessee, Lipscomb Academy Elementary students will restore a stream in the Brown’s Creek watershed.

For a list of all projects receiving grants, go to http://www.plt.org/GreenWorks-grant-award-winners-2015. Proposals for the next round of grants will be due September 30, 2015. Application forms will be made available in the spring from http://www.GreenWorks.org.

About Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase students’ understanding of the environment. PLT provides educators with supplementary curriculum, professional development, and resources to integrate environmental education into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas, and to use the outdoors to engage students in learning about the world around them. Since PLT began in 1976, PLT’s 50-state network has trained more than 650,000 educators and an estimated 100 million PreK-12 students have participated in PLT lessons and activities. PLT is a program of the American Forest Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.plt.org.

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Vanessa Bullwinkle
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