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Toyota awards nearly $10,000 for environmental scholarship

For educators in environmentally underserved areas

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2016) — Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky (TMMK) has awarded a grant of nearly $10,000 to the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) for the 2016-17 Professional Environmental Educator Certification course. The grant will provide scholarships to educators who will reach a diverse group of Kentuckians underserved by current environmental education efforts.

In December 2015, KEEC was notified that the course has successfully achieved accreditation by the North American Association for Environmental Education. Kentucky is the third state in the nation to have an accredited course, following Georgia and Colorado. KEEC has offered the Professional Environmental Educator Certification course since 2004, and more than 180 people have completed it. Graduates receive the designation of Certified Professional Environmental Educator.

The course, based on guidelines from the North American Association for Environmental Education, is designed to professionalize the field of environmental education (EE) by standardizing best practices. Course graduates sign a Code of Ethics requiring them to “clearly differentiate between education and advocacy when conducting EE programs, allowing students to decide for themselves where they stand on environmental issues.”

Through KEEC, which is an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has been a leader in teaching environmental education best practices. The goal of the Toyota scholarships is to ensure that those best practices are taught more widely across the Commonwealth in programs that reach Kentuckians of all backgrounds.

The course will take place over four workshops at Kentucky state parks and the Louisville Zoo from November 2016 – March 2017. Applications for course admission and scholarships are due by July 15.

The course description and applications are available at http://keec.ky.gov/EECertification. For more information about the course, contact Wesley Bullock at 502-564-5937 or [email protected].