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West Side Education News & Notes

6/14/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Ohio EPA funds mini grant for teacher’s institute in CVNP

CVNP — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 25 it has awarded a $1,522 environmental education mini grant to the Otterbein University Department of Education to support a summer institute for teachers in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). The university was one of 13 organizations in the state to be awarded Ohio EPA environmental education mini grants totaling $50,000, according to EPA officials.

Otterbein plans to use the money to offer “Reading the Earth: The Language of Nature,” a professional development opportunity for 20 to 30 Ohio kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers. The teachers will spend five days at CVNP’s Environmental Education Center, where they will explore the park with naturalists specializing in Ohio plant and wildlife communities; study classic and contemporary environmental writers; write about nature in outdoor settings; and develop and compare lesson plans for their students. A website will allow participants to share their writings and teaching activities throughout the following school year.

While mini grants are available for projects lasting up to 12 months and costing between $500 and $5,000, the Ohio EPA also gives out general grants for projects lasting up to 30 months and costing up to $50,000 to benefit environmental education, awarding approximately $1 million annually, according to EPA officials. Just like the general grant program, there are two mini grant rounds each year, with the next application deadline on July 16. An electronic letter of intent to apply is due by July 9.

For more information, contact Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at 614-644-2873. Staff is available to assist potential grant applicants who contact the office before the submission deadline. Information also is available online at www.epa.ohio.gov/oee.

Civil Air Patrol to be offered through OHDELA

GREATER AKRON — Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy (OHDELA) officials recently announced the academy has become the first and only school in Ohio to offer Civil Air Patrol (CAP) to students.

OHDELA is a tuition-free online school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It provides Internet-based, live-learning sessions instructed by state-certified teachers for Ohio students.

CAP is the volunteer, nonprofit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its three missions are to develop its cadets, to educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space and to perform life-saving humanitarian missions, according to OHDELA officials.

CAP’s cadet program introduces young people ages 12 to 21 to aviation, according to OHDELA officials. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and character development. Cadets can compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology and other areas. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic). Academy officials added that cadets are not obligated to join the military, nor does CAP attempt to recruit cadets for the U.S. Armed Forces.

For details on the CAP at OHDELA, contact CAP Capt. Duckworth, squadron commander, at 800-493-8680, ext. 1169, or visit thinkdela.com.

— By Maria Lindsay

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