Teacher's Guide
Cuyahoga County, OH

Grantee: Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $30,000
Non-federal Funds: $11,399
Project Duration: 09/1994 - 08/1995
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Urban runoff contributes to documented water quality and contaminated sediment problems in northeast Ohio. These impacts are a consequence of individual actions across the landscape in urban areas. Changes in individual behavior are needed to resolve these issues.

Handbook cover

The purpose of preparing a teacher's guide was to educate teachers so they can, in turn, educate their students on the effect of urban runoff on water and soil quality. Eight teacher's guides were developed, each one outlining a different pathway that can lead to contaminated sediments. Teacher workshops and in-service training sessions were held to demonstrate how to use the guides.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio has 33 public and two major private school districts covering over 600 schools ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Over 17,000 teachers deliver information to students who in turn transfer that information to their parents. Teachers within the Cuyahoga River and Rocky River watersheds were targeted, although teachers from other counties were welcomed to the workshops and training sessions.

A Water Quality Handbook: Teachers Resource for Water Quality Improvements was designed and printed. The handbook and accompanying video vignettes were action-oriented and designed to teach about how the quality of water is impacted by human activities. The handbook covers eight activities that individuals can do in everyday life, and provides simple actions that can be taken to improve the quality of water and lives. The eight topic areas are: household hazardous wastes, lawn care, trash and litter, road salt, composting yard waste, drain confusion, home combustion engines, and septic systems.

One thousand copies of the water quality handbook were printed and assembled. Packets of additional reference materials were also prepared and accompanied the handbook. Four teacher training workshops were held to distribute the handbooks.

Approval from the Ohio Department of Education was received to give continuing education unit credits (CEUs) to the teachers who complete the 5-hour workshops, which took place in the fall of 1995. Funding for these workshops was made available by Kent State University ($1,500).

Compost puzzle

Through this project 30 teachers were trained through the 5-hour workshops. In addition, 1000 copies of the Teacher's Guide were distributed. This has been incorporated into the education of numerous children. The Teacher's Guide received the 1996 "Outstanding Public Interest Publication" from the All-Ohio Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Contact: Jim Storer, (216) 524-6580


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