The University of Montevallo’s Environmental Studies Program has received a $15,000 grant from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama to support the University’s efforts to deliver free environmental education programs to Title 1 schools in Shelby, Bibb and Chilton counties.
The Daniel Foundation supports effective organizations and programs throughout the state that are focused on building a healthy and well-educated population, living in a vibrant community.
The grant will help ensure UM’s environmental education programs are accessible to every student in the region surrounding the University. By exposing students to nature, UM’s environmental studies programs seek to increase attentional capacity, positive emotions and ability to reflect on life problems, which can help close achievement gaps inside the classrooms.
UM’s environmental education programs connect area youth with nature to foster a generation of environmental citizens and leaders.
“We want to help close both the nature access and the achievement gaps by offering high-quality environmental educational experiences to students in this underserved region. While our best option is full-day environmental education field trips, we are working on developing virtual activities as well as outdoor, socially-distanced programs that can be offered on the school grounds,” said Dr. Susan Caplow, associate professor of environmental studies and coordinator of UM’s Environmental Studies Program. “As the COVID situation is constantly evolving, we plan to remain flexible on the exact format of programs we offer.”