Toyota USA Foundation Awards Grant to Support Environmental Volunteers' Science Programs

July 17, 2008

July 17, 2008 - Palo Alto, CA – Environmental Volunteers (The EV), a 36-year-old science education non-profit, announced today that it has been awarded a 3-year grant of $146,250 from the Toyota USA Foundation, the largest corporate grant in EV history, to support its environmental science programs at 60 schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The EV trains hundreds of volunteers to deliver approximately 500 hands-on science programs to more than 10,000 elementary school students annually. Information about the EV's science programs is available at

"Our science programs are so popular that we sold out for the 2008-2009 school year in less than one hour, a new record," explained Allan Berkowitz, Executive Director. "Unfortunately, we turned away hundreds of teachers who value our trained volunteers in their classrooms, so we value the support of Toyota USA Foundation grant help us be able to grow to reach more children this growth year," he said.

The new grant, called Kids-In-Nature: Explorations in Environmental Science, supports the EV's focus on growth through a new delivery model that achieves improved student learning through "educating for depth," a model the EV tested in a 3-year pilot and assessed through an independent evaluation.

The EV has also announced plans for expansion to a new location. At its annual community fundraiser held June 1st, the EV kicked off the public phase of a $4 million campaign to restore the Sea Scout building at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve with sustainable construction. Moving to the new building, called the EcoCenter, will help the EV inspire environmental stewardship in more children by helping it reach greater numbers of volunteers and community supporters at the Palo Alto Baylands, a popular destination for nature enthusiasts from across the Bay Area. The EV said it had already raised more than $2 million for the EcoCenter Campaign that includes funds for building restoration and for new science programs.

Currently, approximately 190 volunteers undergo San Jose State University-accredited training to enable them to serve in Bay Area classroom teachers by delivering eight different natural science subjects and field studies cover topics such as "Baylands Ecology" and "Nature in Your Neighborhood." A ninth subject, entitled "Energy and Natural Resources" will launch early next year.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the EV's EcoCenter Campaign can contact Susan Hansen, board member and co-chair of the EcoCenter Campaign at Anyone interested in becoming an Environmental Volunteer for a Bay Area classroom can contact Nicole Wilson, Coordinator of Volunteers at the EV at or tel 650 961-0545.

Founded in 1972, Environmental Volunteers is dedicated to promoting an understanding of, and responsibility for, the environment through hands-on science education. In 2003, Environmental Volunteers, a 501(c) (3) corporation, was a recipient of the California Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in Children's Environmental Education. To learn more about The EV, please visit

The Toyota USA Foundation is a $100 million charitable endowment created to support education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade students and their teachers in the United States, with an emphasis on mathematics, science and environmental science. For additional information about the Toyota USA Foundation, visit


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