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Partnership to Introduce Children’s Environmental Health Information into Boys and Girls Clubs’ Educational Programs

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 27, 2012) - EPA is partnering nationally and locally with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to introduce children’s environmental health information into the youth service organization’s educational programs. A $100,000 grant from EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection is funding the national development and implementation of the curriculum.

In the Kansas City metro area, five Boys & Girls Clubs are participating: the J & D Wagner Unit, 2405 Elmwood, Kansas City, Mo.; the Hawthorne Unit, 16995 E. Dover Lane, Independence; the Leslie Unit, 315 S. Leslie, Independence; the Thornberry Unit, 3831 E. 43rd Street, Kansas City, Mo.; and the Wyandotte County Unit, 1240 Troup, Kansas City, Kan.

One cycle of the curriculum is currently in progress and will last until March 26. The second cycle will begin later during the summer.

“Region 7 is delighted to continue our work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Karl Brooks, Region 7 Administrator. “The Boys & Girls Clubs offer a great opportunity to work with our most vulnerable population, children, to educate them on the health effects of their every day environment. As the youngest stewards of the environment, children can make a huge environmental impact now and in the future.”

The curriculum consists of nine 45-minute sessions in a format that is consistent with curricula currently used by BGCA clubs for middle school students. The entire curriculum is packaged in a carrying case which contains everything needed to teach the lessons. Each lesson includes a hands-on activity, as well as materials that students can take home to share with their families. The focus of all the lessons is to excite kids about environmental health and inspire them to take steps in their lives to improve the environment for their community and reduce their environmental risk.

For 100 years now, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City have provided a fun and safe environment for youth, ages 5-18, to learn, play, meet new friends and grow. From sports, digital arts and media to group activities and tutoring, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City serves more than 1,000 area youth each day.

For more information about environmental effects on children’s health, please contact the EPA Region 7 Children’s Health Coordinator, LaTonya Sanders, at sanders.latonya@epa.gov.

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