According to a press release from Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, nearly 900 students in Bell County will benefit from grants totaling $16,000. Frakes School Center, Yellow Creek School Center, Mill Creek Christian Academy, and St. Julian Parish School were all recipients of the award.
Terry Wilson, who teaches science at Frakes School Center, said the $4,000 they received will go to install a weather station, along with work tables and benches for their outdoor classroom.
With the station, Wilson said his classes can “talk about weather, instead of watching it on the news.”
“It’ll give them a better understanding of atmospheric conditions,” said Wilson. “Hopefully, people will be able to access it from home.”
Wilson said they’ve gotten the grant the about five or six year in row. He said in previous years the grant paid for a greenhouse.
Mill Creek Christian Academy plans to build an outdoor classroom with its $4,000 grant, and eighty students will use the facility this year, according to PRIDE.
Mill Creek Principal Jackie LeFevers said the outdoor classroom will help get students out of the classroom.
“We’ll take the children out of the classroom and have class that day out there ...” said LeFevers. “(It) will be for kids to sit and do activities in, and take reading classes out.”
She said that they’ll also do science projects in the outdoor classroom and have picnics. It will likely be built before winter, said LeFevers, adjacent to the playground area.
Yellow Creek School Center will use its $4,000 grant to buy curriculum, as well as equipment, supplies, and tools for the school’s greenhouse, and the school expects 600 students to benefit from the grant, according to PRIDE.
St. Julian Parish School expects 65 students to benefit from its $4,000 grant. The school will cover its outdoor shelter, buy greenhouse equipment and supplies, and buy Earth Day activity materials.
Each grant also includes $500 to operate a service-oriented PRIDE Club.
“I thank you for taking the initiative to get students excited about the spectacular natural resources that surround them,” said Karen Engle, who heads PRIDE, to the grant recipients. “Our region’s scenic beauty is precious. If our children learn to nurture this valuable asset now, then they can enjoy it with their children and even generate jobs through tourism. These grants are a wise investment in the future.”
The PRIDE Environmental Education Grant Program is available to schools, nonprofit organizations and other education providers in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. The one-year grants support hands-on activities that show students how and why to take personal responsibility for their environment. The maximum grant value was $4,000 this year. Grant recipients must make monetary or in-kind contributions worth ten percent of their grant amount, and community involvement is encouraged.
This year, PRIDE awarded 94 Environmental Education Grants across the region totally over $355,000. Since 1998, over $577,000 students have taken part in projects funded through 1,001 grants. Grant-funded projects in the region since 1998 include building 374 outdoor classrooms, 155 greenhouses and 63 nature trails.
Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, a nonprofit organization, promotes “Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment” in southern and eastern Kentucky. PRIDE was founded in 1997 by Congressman Hal Rogers and Kentucky Environmental Secretary James Bickford, and it is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Stephen Woodward is a Staff Writer for the Daily News. He may be contacted at email@example.com.