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A holiday gift for the Columbia Basin: bursaries announced for environmental educators

Interpretive paddle through the Creston wetlands

Environmental educators across the Columbia Basin are being given a special holiday gift courtesy of the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) and the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT): the opportunity to apply for a professional development bursary of up to $500.

A total of $5000 in bursaries will be available starting January 1, 2010 for formal and informal environmental educators to attend professional development workshops or conferences. The program is intended to help build the capacity of educators to deliver environmental programs. Bursaries may be used for any legitimate costs associated with a workshop or conference, such as registration fees, transportation, accommodation and meals. The bursaries are made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Columbia Basin Trust, a regional corporation created to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin.

”CBEEN is very pleased to be able to make these bursaries available to the Basin’s environmental educators”, said Eli Baker, CBEEN’s Executive Director. “Teachers are life-long learners and acknowledge that professional development is a vital tool for maintaining effective teaching skills, yet attending workshops and conferences can be prohibitively expensive. These bursaries will allow teachers and other educators to retain and sharpen old skills, develop new ones, keep up-to-date with new trends and resources, find fresh perspectives, make important connections with fellow educators, and return to their jobs feeling refreshed and reenergized. These benefits trickle down to their students – Basin residents – resulting in improved eco-literacy and environmental benefits for the entire region. It’s a win-win situation.”

Bursary applicants must be members of CBEEN, and reside within the Canadian Columbia Basin. Membership in CBEEN is free, and open to both formal and informal educators who have completed the online application form at www.cbeen.org.

Recipients of bursaries will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis by the CBEEN Board of Directors. All recipients will be required to devise an ‘education plan’ to share the experience, new knowledge or new skills they obtain with fellow CBEEN members and Basin residents. All funds must be claimed by June 20, 2010, and all education plans enacted by December 31, 2010.

For more information or to apply to CBEEN’s Environmental Education Professional Development Bursary Program, send an email to admin@cbeen.org.

CBEEN is a network for environmental education professionals that encourages environmental stewardship and sustainability in the Canadian Columbia Basin by supporting environmental education initiatives. Through an active network of environmental educators and a collaborative relationship with community groups and educational organizations, CBEEN strives to promote respect for the natural environment and engagement in sustainable human activities.