Eight schools won grants from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to support innovative efforts to educate students on the environment through the”Champions of the Environment program.”
DHEC spokesman, Robert Yanity, told South Carolina Radio Network they had many entries. “We had more than 50 entries this year, and some really creative projects were awarded,” said Yanity.
“By increasing opportunities for students to get hands-on environmental education, the Champions program is helping students and teachers make a lasting impact,” Yanity said.
This year’s Champions of the Environment grant winners are:
- The Palmetto School, York County –Two rain gardens will be installed on campus to capture storm water runoff from paved and hard surfaces, absorbing and filtering pollutants.
- Deerfield Elementary School, Lexington County – “Planet Heroes: Environmental Club” students will work to create a culture of recycling throughout the school with a focus on community collaboration to educate others about the importance of recycling.
- Bookman Road Elementary School, Richland County – Students will create bird sanctuaries in the school’s nature trail to learn about the importance of ecosystems and how to be responsible stewards of the environment.
- A. C. Moore Elementary School, Richland County – In light of the recent flooding, students will learn about the Rocky Branch Watershed and how actions like littering can impact water resources.
- Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School, Charleston County – The entire student body will restore a salt marsh habitat recently degraded by construction. Students will grow and plant native marsh plants and help restore oyster habitats.
- Chesnee High School, Spartanburg County – Students will work to decrease plastic water bottle use on campus and in the community, by promoting sustainable living choices such as using reusable water bottles.
- Dutch Fork Elementary School, Lexington County – The school will work with partners to install a new observation beehive so students can experience first-hand the life cycle and benefits of honey bees and the importance of pollinator species.
- North Myrtle Beach Middle School, Horry County – To reduce waste and teach all students about the importance of recycling, recycling bins will be added throughout the school and new environmental education programs will be offered.
Champions of the Environment provides resources and support to foster environmental education and action in South Carolina’s kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. The program is sponsored by DHEC, International Paper and SCE&G, with assistance from the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina.