EPA Awards Grants to Protect Children's Health

“Safeguarding the health of children is one of our most important responsibilities, and an issue that is very dear to me,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will provide critical tools such as information, training and education to communities that are most in need.”

The funding was awarded through EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection to reduce environmental exposures in homes, schools and childcare centers in underserved communities. This year, 13 organizations were selected for funding from 263 applicants across the county. Four include projects in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region for work taking place in agricultural communities in Central Valley, California and the Border region of Arizona. The projects will focus on training childcare providers, caretakers, farmworkers, and others on protecting children from environmental exposures in their communities.

The following organizations received grants:

Pesticide Action Network of North America and Californians for Pesticide Reform
Building Community Capacity to Monitor, Track and Address Environmental Health Hazards and Improve Children’s Health Outcomes in California’s San Joaquin Valley
Kern and Tulare counties, San Joaquin Valley (California)
Grant Amount: $98,000

Pesticide Action Network of North America is partnering with other community-based organizations to better monitor, track and address environmental health issues that impact children. Issues to be addressed include pesticide applications, burning, illegal dumping and lead and mold in housing. The project replicates a proven, community-based environmental reporting model originally developed in California's Imperial Valley.

UC Berkeley—Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH)
Expansion of Outreach under Center for the Health Assessment of the Mothers and Children of Salinas
Monterey County and farmworker communities throughout California
Grant Amount: $99,999

CERCH will expand the reach of the Center for the Health Assessment of the Mothers and Children of Salinas program by intensifying the work UC Berkeley is engaged in with low-income Latino families in Salinas, Calif., and by expanding this work to state agencies and other California counties. Work will include expanding education on children’s environmental health issues, updating prenatal environmental health kiosks, expanding work to other farmworker communities in California and establishment of an online resource center for low-income Latino communities.

Farmworker Justice
Healthy Fields, Healthy Kids
US-Mexico border Yuma County (Arizona), Central Valley (California) and Florida
Grant Amount: $100,000

The Healthy Fields, Healthy Kids project will work in close partnership with three community-based farmworker organizations in California’s Central Valley, Arizona’s Yuma County and Central Florida. Using a team of community outreach workers, community partners will educate about 4500 farmworker families to improve the environmental health of their children and to build the capacity of the partner organizations to support future outreach and education on this important issue.

Sonora Environmental Research Institute (SERI)
Community-Based Healthy Child care Program
U.S. - Mexico Border, Tucson, Ariz.
Grant Amount: $60,000

SERI will provide comprehensive healthy homes trainings, inspections, and certifications for Head Start programs and small in-home childcare providers. SERI is also partnering with the Tucson Fire Department to provide healthy homes inspections for larger childcares centers, childcare staff will be trained and 200 facilities will be inspected and supplied with healthy home kits.

Since 1928, the President of the United States has proclaimed the first Monday in October as National Child Health Day and in his October 3, 2011 Proclamation, President Obama reiterated the importance of caring for the health of our next generation, and the need to recommit ourselves to helping children, their families, and our communities fulfill the dream of healthy, happy, and secure futures.