(North Canton, OH – Jan. 14, 2013) – Stark State College has been approved for a third installment of a three-year Community Sustainability Partnership grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, bringing its total award to $300,000.
The H.W. Hoover Foundation takes a leadership role in funding unique opportunities that provide solutions to issues related to the community, education and the environment. The Community Sustainability Partnership project is aimed at advancing sustainability within Stark County communities and outreach efforts directed toward residents, organizations, educational institutions and businesses to promote economic viability, environmental awareness and social responsibility.
“Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of what we do and what we teach at Stark State,” said Stefanie Smith, sustainability coordinator. “With support from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation we’ve been able to expand our efforts across the campus and within our community and we look forward to continuing this effort through the coming year.”
During the past two years of grant funding, Stark State has been at the forefront of many community-focused events, including sustainable living classes at local high schools; presentations and booths focusing on green business, zero waste events and community sustainability; and sustainability movies, fairs, tours and panels.
Also among its education efforts, the College’s Sustainability Task Force has instituted and advanced programs in grades K-12, such as a Girls Go! Science, Stark State’s Envirofun, Kids College and Technokids programs; an alternative energy teachers’ workshop; an Early College sustainability program pilot and a Downtown YMCA Urban Kids summer sustainability program.
The Hoover Foundation funding also has made possible corporate outreach through the Green Business Roundtable, featuring guest experts such as RKS Consulting & Commissioning, Mercy Medical Center and Frito Lay. Sustainability auditing and strategic planning is underway for three local businesses including the North Canton Medical Foundation, Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza and the North Canton Public Library.
Stark State now includes sustainability in its general learning outcomes for all graduates and is developing additional sustainability-focused courses and programs. Students also are eligible for scholarships in sustainability and the College has hired student workers in the sustainability arena.
This past year Stark State earned tenth place in the grand champion category of a nationwide recycling competition. Other campus events focus on electronics recycling, waste audits, an Earth Month celebration and more.
Stark State also has received a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) silver rating and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for new construction on campus.