Environmental Education

National Civic Education Project

Earth Day Network’s National Civic Education Project (NCEP) seeks to support teachers and their students from diverse schools across the country to combine civic and environmental education inside their classroom with hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom. These grants allow students and educators to collaborate and act on environmental projects within their local communities.

Earth Day Network strongly believes in creating personal responsibility for the environment among students around the world to promote a more democratically active citizenry. Working from the ground up, the NCEP empowers selected teachers and students to remedy specific environmental concerns in their communities with demonstrable outcomes and results.

The studies of civic and environmental education are closely intertwined and this connection allows students to understand how their actions can influence the environmental health of their own communities. The need to empower residents of low income neighborhoods with the civic skills to address environmental issues in their communities is particularly acute. Residents of “at risk” urban neighborhoods are exposed to higher levels of air and water pollution and are more likely than their suburban counterparts to live near power plants or waste sites. 80% of Hispanic-Americans and 71% of African-Americans live in areas that fail to meet one or more EPA air quality standards (as compared to 57% of Caucasians). African-Americans from 5- 34 years of age are five times more likely to die of asthma than Caucasians.

For more information on our National Civic Education Project, please contact the Education Department at education@earthday.org

Earth Day Network is proud to report on the successful completion of the Puget Sound Civic Education Project. The project—funded by the Russell Family Foundation—sought to educate and empower community members and students in Puget Sound, Washington to improve local water quality. As part of the National Civic Education Project, Earth Day Network worked with the Secondary Academy for Success (SAS) in Bothell, Washington to educate students about water quality issues, conduct hands-on storm water runoff tests, and incorporate their findings into classroom lessons. Students completed capstone projects, for which they developed practical solutions to water quality challenges in the area. They then shared their ideas at local sustainability conferences. Some students were fortunate enough to work directly with architects and city planners to develop a storm water runoff plan for a new high school in the area.