Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From the world of Tax Exempt entities and the government partnering together

An Ohio nonprofit is taking its first-ever federal funding to jump-start a recycling awareness program in four area schools. Communities in Schools, the Columbus arm of the national dropout-prevention organization, has received $18,943 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its Recycling Awareness program that will take place in four elementary and middle schools in Whitehall City Schools. The grant is one of four distributed nationwide that total nearly $100,000.

Beth Urban, the organization's director of research and evaluation, said the funding will go to after-school programs in the school where students will begin recycling in environmental clubs, go on field trips to landfills and wastewater treatment plants and help initiate a school-wide effort to recycle more and trash less.

"At lot of times recycling isn't ingrained in people's mentality and they automatically throw everything away," Urban said, adding that part of the reason the program is reaching younger kids is because of a generational gap with parents. "A lot of time, parents don't think about (recycling)."

While the recycling program will take place in just four schools during the academic year, Communities in Schools has employees and programs in about 50 schools through partnerships with Whitehall and Columbus City Schools. The organization, opened in Columbus in 1993, is working with a 50-employee base and a $1.9 million budget that is funded through state and city grants along with United Way and corporate funding. Communities in Schools' Columbus branch received $2.38 million in public support during its 2006 fiscal year.

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