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Awards to USA K-12 Public School Teachers for Excellence in Environmental Education

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
Deadline: 01/15/24 5:00 PM ET Receipt - for hardcopy submissions; 7:59 PM ET Receipt - for email applications (preferred). Save

Grant Description
Awards to USA and territories K-12 public school teachers to recognize excellence in environmental education. The winning teachers' LEAs will receive awards as well. Applicants will be evaluated in several categories, including integration, service to the community and underserved populations, innovation, leadership, and achievement.

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, teachers must meet the following eligibility requirements.
- Teach K-12 on a full-time basis in a public school that is operated by a local education agency,1 including schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education;
- Hold a current teaching license from the state (or valid reciprocity from the state for a license from another state);
- Have a minimum of 5 years of K-12 teaching experience, including at least 3 years of teaching environmental education and/or an environment-based curriculum;
- Anticipate a classroom teaching assignment involving environmental education for the upcoming school year;
- Be a citizen of the United States, its territories or possessions, or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residency; 2 and
- Has not been a recipient of this award in the past 5 years.

For this program, a local education agency is one as defined by section 198 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (now codified at 20 U.S.C. 7801(26)).

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines lawful permanent residency as any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the United States under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant, also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."

The teacher's local education agency cannot use the award for construction costs, general expenses, salaries, bonuses, or other administrative expenses.

Pre-Application Information
Program Timeline:
- Application Deadline: January 15, 2024
- Notification of Application Status: April 2024
- EPA and White House Press Release Announcing Winners: Spring 2024

All email applications must be received by 7:59 p.m. ET on January 15, 2024. All hard copy submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 15, 2024.

For this year's competition, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all application materials electronically (email). If you plan to mail some or all of your application materials, please contact program staff so that they can ensure that the application and materials are received.


Application Requirements and Forms:

Number of Grants
Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award.

Estimated Size of Grant
Teacher awardees will receive a Presidential award plaque and an award of up to $2,500 to be used to further the recipient's professional development in environmental education. Teacher awardees will also receive a congratulatory letter from a senior official from EPA and/or the White House.

The teacher's local education agency will also receive an award of up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs.

Honorable Mention recipients will receive certificates of recognition.

Contact Information
Email complete application package, including all supporting materials, to Please include “Application for 2023-2024 PIAEE” in the subject line.

Mail complete application package to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Environmental Education
Attn: Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
William Jefferson Clinton Building North, Room 1426-A
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, MC 1704-A
Washington, DC 20460

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