The Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program is a professional development program for K-12 teachers that provides educators with the tools and training for place-based education and service-learning on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Launched in 2006, in partnership with the National Park Service, the program offers educators resources needed to engage their students in their local community, while growing academically and professionally.
The program was developed to:
- Engage youth in volunteer activities
- Encouraging a love of learning
- Promote healthy lifestyles
- Create a conservation ethic
- Form a respect for the A.T.
Place based education and service learning is an effective method of teaching that combines academic classroom curriculum with community service. This method of teaching encourages students to solve local community problems while offering a hands-on learning experience. Studies have shown that this method can increase student achievement, community involvement, and environmental responsibility.
The TTEC program invites educators Along the A.T. corridor to develop their own experiential learning curriculum based on state educational standards that integrate a hands-on study of the A.T. The program is divided into a series of three workshops:
- Regional Spring Workshop – Learning the Basics Topics Covered:
- Overview of the A.T.: Hike Leadership, Leave No Trace Practices and Introductions to Trail Management and how it is operates
- Introduction to place-based education and service learning
- Week Long Summer Institute – Diving into the Fundamentals Topics Covered
- Fundamentals of hiking, volunteer work, and community engagement
- Focus on curriculum development and presentations from national experts in education techniques, service-learning, grant writing, GPS and GIS technology, etc.
- Overnight backpacking field trip
- Regional Fall Workshop – Sustaining Your Newly Developed Curriculum Topics Covered
- Successes and challenges of place-based education and service learning
- How to develop a solid network and partnerships
- How to broaden your curriculum to a community level
- Program evaluation
- Working with the media
Once these workshops are completed, ongoing support is provided to ensure success. Mini-grants are available to teachers for curriculum implementation and graduate credit is offered.
Visit our Blog to join the discussion and view posted curriculum materials.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy supports the Let's Move! initiative and encourages communities to take part in Let's Move! Outside and Lets Move! Cities and Towns.
For more information about the Trail to Every Classroom program, email [email protected].