Harpers Ferry, WV (March 13, 2013) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is currently accepting applications from educators to participate in its highly acclaimed Trail To Every Classroom (TTEC) program, connecting students and trailside communities along the Appalachian Trail’s 14-state route.
TTEC, a professional development program promotes a conservation ethic, civic participation, and healthy lifestyles by training K-12 teachers to use the Appalachian Trail (A.T) as an educational resource. Launched in 2006, in partnership with the National Park Service, the program offers educators the resources and training to use place-based education and service learning in and beyond the classroom walls. This method of teaching encourages students to solve local community problems while offering a hands-on learning experience. Participants rediscover the outdoors and sense of exploration while learning effective, meaningful ways to lead others in their own discoveries of nature, physical challenges, and the distinctiveness of their own communities.
“The significance of the Appalachian Trail is not its length, but its story of civic engagement in preserving a recreational, natural, cultural, and now, educational, resource for challenges and dreams,” states Rita Hennessy with the National Park Service.
Divided into a series of three workshops, the TTEC program encompasses the fundamentals of hiking, environmental stewardship and ethics, GPS technology, grant writing, an opportunity for backpacking, networking and curriculum writing specific to the individual’s instructional subject. Once these workshops are completed, ongoing support is provided by the ATC, NPS and the local trail management volunteers and partners. All lodging, meals, and materials are provided.
An optional three graduate credits are offered at $637.50 through Mary Baldwin College. Research has shown that this professional development program provides educators with the tools to increase student achievement, community engagement and environmentally responsible behavior.
To date this program has trained over 275 teachers from Georgia to Maine and enthusiasm for the program is growing.
Beth Poteat, North Carolina TTEC Alumnus, explains the sense of renewal and fellowship with peers, “Trail to Every Classroom was a great opportunity to meet and share experiences with teachers in other subject areas from all over the country while strengthening one’s own classroom practices.”
Likewise, Rachael Kerby, North Carolina Alumna, expresses a new perspective in her teaching, “TTEC is a program that draws you into the natural world through the eyes of a child. It exposed me to different people and their passions for nature and the A.T. as well as introduced me to ways to draw students into the outdoors.”
Teams of two or more teachers from each school are strongly encouraged to apply by March 20th. Requirements include: Administrator support; participation in all workshops and summer institute; development of Appalachian Trail curriculum meeting the goals of school, grade level and state standards; participation in program evaluations. Each workshop includes a hike ranging from one to five miles.
To apply: www.appalachiantrail.org/ttec or email [email protected]
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11
Email: [email protected]