Kentucky Non-Profit Receives Federal Grant To Improve Climate Literacy

May 31, 2016

Credit J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

A Kentucky non-profit is the state’s only recipient in the latest round of federal environmental education grant funding.

The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education will get $91,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to implement programs to increase climate literacy around the state.

“So by climate literacy, we mean people’s understanding of climate science in order to make educated decisions about it,” said KAEE Executive Director Ashley Hoffman.

Hoffman said the grant money will let the organization provide professional development for Kentucky educators through the state’s universities. Participants can then apply for additional money to put toward climate change-related community projects.

She said this kind of program is especially useful in Kentucky, where a recent study found that most residents get their information on climate change from politicians and social media. Nearly all climate scientists have concurred that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that humans are contributing to it. Hoffman said her organization’s goal is to teach educators the science behind climate change, so they can pass it on to their students and combat what they may be hearing from non-reputable sources.

“A lot of it’s that — just trying to alleviate those misconceptions that are leading to a lot of the political debate that’s happening,” she said.

In all, the EPA awarded 35 grants worth more than $3.3 million during this funding cycle.