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EPA Announces the 2011 Presidential Innovation Award Program for Environmental Educators

WASHINGTON - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, speaking at the North American Association for Environmental Education's 40th Annual Conference yesterday, announced the 2011 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators Program. The program, which will be implemented through a partnership between the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and EPA, recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students.

"Because the environment affects every part of our lives, environmental education should be part of everything we do and teach," EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe said. "This awards program will highlight and encourage innovative ways to better integrate environmental issues into our young people's everyday learning experiences -- helping to turn environmental education into environmental action."

"Our bright and enthusiastic students are America's future problem-solvers, environmental stewards, and economic innovators," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "This award will support American schools and teachers that are doing an outstanding job of empowering students to build a clean, healthy and prosperous future for our country."

"The Presidential Innovation Award Program for Environmental Educators reinforces what we're doing at the U.S. Department of Education through our recently launched Green Ribbon Schools program," said Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller. "We need to reward and recognize teachers who are focusing on the environment, reinforcing scientific knowledge, developing critical thinking skills, and preparing students to participate in the green economy."

Two teachers from each EPA region will be selected to receive the award. Recipients will receive a commemorative plaque and an award of $2000, to be used to further their professional development in environmental education. Additionally, the local education agency employing each teacher will receive an award of $2000 to further the recipient's environmental educational activities and programs. EPA and CEQ will announce the inaugural award winners in the spring of 2012.

For more information on eligibility requirements and selection criteria or to submit an online application, please visit www.epa.gov/education/teacheraward. The application deadline is December 30, 2011.

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