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White House Awards Spotlight Environmental Education
as a Means Toward Creating High Performance
Schools and Students
Professional Development Awards Go to 37 Teachers who Use the Environment
to Spur Academic Achievement and Community Service
Washington, D.C. - The President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF), announce today the first recipients of the Environmental Education Teacher Professional Development Awards. These 37 teachers have gained recognition because their outstanding efforts in the use of environment-based education produce positive learning results in K-12 students, particularly in science achievement, and instill student commitment to community service. The CEQ Professional Teacher Development Awards spotlight teachers who use environment-based teaching methods to help children learn in a variety of schools and settings. These awards promote professional teacher development and also encourage replication of excellent environment-based teaching methods.
"These exceptional teachers have seized upon an educational approach that holds great promise not only for the enhancement of academic careers K-12, but for deepening lifelong interest in learning, particularly in science and technology," says NEETF President Kevin Coyle. "Environment-based teaching has proven, in dozens of schools, that students respond to the environment's diversity with creativity, enthusiasm, sharper critical thinking skills and a positive attitude towards learning. Environment-based education helps prepare students for work place challenges and continued learning after formal schooling ends," he adds.
Professional Teacher Development Awards/p. 2
Each award-winning teacher receives a $1,500 award, along with a certificate of honor, to be used to further his or her professional goals. The awards are given with the generous support of AT&T and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Education. The list of award-winning primary and secondary teachers, their schools and hometowns are included in the booklet in this kit.
In conjunction with the awards, NEETF released a study, "Environment-based Education: Creating High Performance Schools and Students," that cites evidence from eleven schools to show that environment-based education programs motivate student learning, bring relevance to the school experience and improve academic performance in many disciplines. Environment-based education also provides "teachable moments" that relate to community service, long-term goals in the future work place and the interconnectedness of various academic and professional disciplines. According to survey cited in this report, school-based environmental learning programs earn a 96% approval rating from parents.
"The President's Council on Environmental Quality is pleased to support the professional development of teachers who are solution-oriented," asserts CEQ Chairman George T. Frampton, Jr. "Environmental education has the potential to turn around troubled schools and students and to meet today's high expectations for academic achievement and individual student development."
NEETF, chartered by Congress in 1990, works with public and private partners to build a foundation for environmental education that enhances America's economic, societal and ecological future. The Foundation advances fair and accurate public education, professional training, mentoring programs, demonstrations, research and the development of voluntary programs for environmental stewardship.
Visithttp://www.videonewswire.com/play?video=2000112701 to watch award-winning environmental teachers at work in Royal City, Wash. and Hampton, Va.. Additional videotapes may be requested by contacting Nancy Light, 202/261-6473, <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
For an additional copy of the report, "Environment-based Education," contact Nancy Light (see above).
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