NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- EarthEcho International (www.earthecho.org), a leading environmental education nonprofit, today unveiled its STREAM (STudents Reporting Environmental Action through Media) youth citizen journalist program at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)'s Sixth Annual meeting. Inspired by the critical need for real time reporting and local perspectives during the ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, STREAM leverages the latest digital technologies and the power of service-learning to give youth a voice in protecting the environment. Launching this fall, the program provides students with the training and resources to bring national attention to important stories of environmental and human impact in their own communities. EarthEcho Co-Founder and CEO Philippe Cousteau made the announcement from the main stage during today's plenary session.
"The events of the past five months have heightened the need for reporting that makes the connection between the health of the planet and the quality of our daily lives. I can't think of any group better equipped to take on this challenge than today's youth," said Cousteau. "The young people I meet every day are concerned about the state of the environment and they are determined to make positive changes. STREAM will give them the resources and the platform to turn passion into action."
In July, EarthEcho partnered with Mobile Baykeeper (www.Mobilebaykeeper.org) to launch a pilot workshop in Gulf Shores, AL, where students reported on the local impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. This fall, EarthEcho will launch STREAM nationally with expanded resources and tools including:
- A multi-media digital publishing platform for student journalist stories;
- Professional development resources for youth citizen journalists, including downloadable guides, instructional videos and on-line workshops;
- In-person training workshops with industry professionals and leadership programs for youth in the field of environmental journalism; and
- The establishment of the youth citizen journalism "news bureaus" in multiple markets across the country.
STREAM's full service website will launch in fall 2010, providing students, educators, and community leaders with the resources they need to establish youth-focused citizen journalism programs in their own communities. Beginning with events in the Gulf Coast, EarthEcho will also conduct student workshops where participants will receive hands-on training and coaching while exploring environmental issues of critical importance at a local level. The Wallace Global Foundation and Singing for Change have provided initial funding for STREAM's launch.
EarthEcho's STREAM program was one of several environmentally focused commitments featured during the plenary session. Joining Cousteau and others was Ocean Conservancy President and CEO Vikki Spruill who announced that organization's initiative to help restore the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill and reform policies for a healthier ocean.
STREAM is the latest initiative in EarthEcho's growing offering of resources and programs to help engage and inspire youth in the stewardship of the planet. During CGI's 2009 conference, EarthEcho announced its Water Planet Challenge, an unprecedented national call-to-action that engages and empowers youth to bring about global environmental change starting with water-focused service projects at a local level. Water Planet Challenge will have its official launch later this month.
About EarthEcho International
EarthEcho International is a leading environmental nonprofit committed to youth engagement, action, and leadership through education. EarthEcho helps young people everywhere understand the critical role we play in the future of the planet through the one thing that connects us all – water. EarthEcho International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. For more information about EarthEcho International, visit http://www.earthecho.org.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The 2010 CGI Annual Meeting will take place from September 20-23, 2010, in New York City. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE EarthEcho International