Merck Grant Supports Kenan Fellows Program and EPA Partnership to Offer Cross-Curricular Environmental Education for Durham Educators

DURHAM – The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at NC State University is pleased to announce a partnership with the EPA and Durham Public Schools to offer a special cross-curricular professional development series for K-12 educators in Durham.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Merck Foundation, we are able to provide selected educators with a statewide perspective of environmental and agricultural issues while examining and deepening their understanding of these same issues in Durham. Sessions will be led by educators in the Kenan Fellows Program Alumni Network and address timely topics such as food deserts and environmental justice, and ways to develop eco-solutions for these issues in urban and rural communities.

“Kenan Fellows alumni continue to grow and lead in their school districts and beyond, long after their fellowship year,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. “With Kenan Fellows leading an average of 45 hours of formal professional development annually, this partnership with the EPA and Durham Public Schools will allow our industry professionals and Durham area alumni who are experts in environmental education to share their knowledge by connecting with other teachers who are passionate about the environment and sustainability.”

Participants must be educators in Durham Public Schools and complete an online application. A total of 25 educators will be selected including five each from elementary, middle, and high school, and 10 from among educators who teach ESL, exceptional education, or serve as instructional coaches. Educators who are selected to participate will receive a $100 stipend upon completion of the program, which will consist of three virtual sessions that include optional networking time. In addition, there will be a field trip to the EPA’s RTP campus and a paid overnight trip to the NC Coastal Federation next summer.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in RTP is excited to continue our partnership with the Kenan Fellows Program through this professional development opportunity for educators in the Durham Public Schools,” said Kelly Witter, Director of EPA-RTP’s Community Engagement & STEM Education Program.  “Two former EPA Fellows are leading the effort and will be sharing the environmental knowledge gained during their EPA experiences.”

Applications are currently being accepted through Sept. 28, 2020. To apply visit,