Nelsonville, OHIO The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is pleased to announce recipients of grants from its AEP Access to Environmental Education Fund. Applications were received from public schools and 501(c)(3) community organizations throughout Appalachian Ohio for projects encouraging and supporting creative, local environmental education and stewardship activities that build on the unique assets and strengths of the regions individual communities. A total of $23,500 was awarded in 20 grants across the region.

Created by AEP Ohio in 2008, the AEP Access to Environmental Education Fund is a permanent grantmaking endowment for the purpose of supporting environmental education efforts benefiting youth who live in the thirty-two counties of Appalachian Ohio. Funded projects will provide opportunities for youth to participate in learning experiences tied to local natural resources while encouraging them to share lessons learned with the broader community.

These grants help provide focused learning opportunities for students, said Joseph Hamrock, President and COO of AEP Ohio. We are fortunate to benefit from FAOs programs, which ensure environmental education opportunities are accessible throughout the region.

The Olney Friends Schools $1,290 grant will support the adaptation of their physical sciences and mathematics curriculum to capitalize on the schools surroundings and incorporate the schools philosophy of simplicity and earth preservation. The curriculum will showcase more blended physical and life sciences studies with mathematics, to better develop the necessary critical thinking skills of students.

FAO is very lucky to have a partner like AEP Ohio. AEP has been a leader in philanthropic investments to create educational opportunities in Appalachian Ohio, said Cara Dingus Brook, FAOs President and CEO. These mini-grants focused on environmental education will allow our regions youth to understand their role in the community as well as their responsibility to the regions natural treasures.

For a complete list of 2011 AEP Access to Environmental Education grant recipients across the region, and to learn how you can help support educators in Appalachian Ohio, visit FAOs website at

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio with the mission of enriching the regions current and future quality of life. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation attracts contributions for programs and endowment, makes grants for charitable and civic purposes, and supports local efforts for positive change. For more information about FAO and its Im a Child of Appalachia campaign, please visit