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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Jan. 10, 2005

Co-Op Grants Fund Programs to Make Science Fun

AUSTIN, Texas — According to the 2003 statewide Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) summary reports, more Texas students are underperforming when it comes to science in schools. The latest round of 15 grants totaling $394,266 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department may help address that issue and promote outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation.

Grants officials say they have noted a trend in the latest round of applications from groups seeking funding from TPWD’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP). And that is that many grant applicants plan to invest in students’ science knowledge as a way to preserve our state’s natural resources and environment.

“We have groups that come up with amazing programs to help target this population of students because they have concerns about what will happen to the state’s natural resources,” said CO-OP Program Director Darlene Lewis. “They are partnering with schools and after-school programs to help make science fun, while also addressing other community concerns, such as latch-key students, crime prevention programs as well as getting kids outdoors for a little exercise as well. It’s a win-win for Texas.”

The CO-OP program has funded 350 outdoor education programs since 1996 and has a current annual budget of $800,000. Applicants can request as much as $30,000 to help cover the cost of equipment, supplies, transportation and facility use fees.

To learn more about CO-OP grants, call Lewis at (512) 912-7124. The next grant application deadline is March 1.

The following organizations are receiving CO-OP grants:

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