There is no formal environmental education curriculum in many schools throughout the Caribbean and very little in any setting on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. Through presentations and field trips, EPIC reaches diverse youth from elementary to university level. Classroom presentations include a PowerPoint, handouts, work sheets and giveaways like stickers, but the main focus is hands-on activities and interactions. Field trips range from hikes to kayak and boat-based experiences. Youth programs also target summer camps, libraries, home schoolers, and underprivileged youth. Most programs are offered for free thanks to project funders, although ongoing funding for youth education is always being sought. Many thousands of kids on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin have gained knowledge about the natural world and first-hand experiences that encourage island stewardship. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a presentation or field trip or supporting this program at EPICsxm@epicislands.org.
Two teacher training workshops empowered local educators to use the BirdSleuth curriculum, in 2011. This was supported by BirdsCaribbean and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act fund. EPIC’s work with BirdSleuth was also presented at the International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in India.
Over the years, educational programs have been funded by the Prince Bernhard Culture Funds, IUCN, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Optics for the Tropics, Birder’s Exchange, St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, and donors.