Four Botetourt teachers participated in A Trail to Every Classroom an event to bring the outdoor world into the school building and curriculum.
Sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy the mission is:
“A Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) is a three-season, multi-disciplinary professional development series for educators aimed at providing the inspiration, knowledge and skills to transform classroom teaching into effective and exciting place-based education.
Teachers who participate in TTEC develop their own curriculum that increases student literacy skills and fosters student understanding of, and appreciation for, the public lands connected by the 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. These curricula integrate hands-on study of the natural and cultural resources of communities from Georgia to Maine, addressing concepts in ecology, sense of place, recreation, volunteerism and civics.
At the heart of TTEC is the belief that students who are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of their own “place” are more eager to be involved in the stewardship of their communities and public lands. The 2002 Independent Sector report, Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service, states, “Adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to give time as they grow older.” A recent report from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Youth Helping America, also suggests that volunteering is a learned social behavior.” (Taken from the website.)
On a weekend in the spring at Mountain Lake in Virginia and week long trek to Shephardstown, West Virginia and another weekend this fall, the Botetourt teachers will have additional tools to use with students where a hike can be part of something as routine as school and be an enhancement to learning and volunteerism!