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Posted on October 19, 2016 | 9:44 a.m.

Grants Help Educators Teach Kids How to Care for Planet Earth

Source: Lyz Hoffman for the Air Pollution Control District

The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) have announced that applications for the 2016-2017 Care for Our Earth teacher grants are due on Nov. 18.

Santa Barbara County K-12 teachers are encouraged to apply for this year’s $300 mini-grants, which can be used to conduct classroom projects that reduce pollution and save energy and water. The grants — funded by the APCD, Santa Barbara County Water Agency and utility companies, and implemented by SBCEO — support the APCD's clean-air mission.

Since 2009, the grants have helped educators teach thousands of students about the environment, energy, and alternative transportation, and have helped schools reduce their utility bills and traffic.

“We can all take steps to protect the environment, and these grants are a fun way to engage students countywide,” said District Director Aeron Arlin Genet. “We appreciate all of the teachers who strive to show their students how they can be good stewards now and in the future.”

The 2015-16 Care for Our Earth Grants — awarded by the District, SBCEO, Santa Barbara County Water Agency, Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Gas Company — went to 38 teachers at 26 Santa Barbara County schools.

Previous recipients have worked with their students to, among other projects, build a worm bin for composting, test and compare car-exhaust levels, create solar-powered ovens, map safe routes to walk and bike to school, compose songs about saving energy, learn about bicycle safety, and monitor classroom energy use.

“We value the partnership, vision and support of the organizations who make these grants possible,” said Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools. “Our teachers work tirelessly to model environmental stewardship and teach conservation to their students.

"The Care for Our Earth grants provide teachers with the resources needed to develop innovative lessons and teaching strategies. On behalf of our teachers, school children, and their parents, I thank these agencies for once again modeling the power of partnerships,” Cirone said.

Visit www.ourair.org/resources-for-teachers for more information, including the 2016-17 application form and project examples from previous recipients.

— Lyz Hoffman for the Air Pollution Control District.

 
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