NH Project Learning Tree Awarded $20,000 USDA Forest Service Grant

Funds will support a science-based teacher professional development program for middle and high school teachers


CONCORD, NH: NH Project Learning Tree, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities to enhance youth understanding, appreciation, and love for the natural world, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from The USDA—Forest Service. The grant funds will be used by NH Project Learning Tree and its partners to train 10-15 middle and high school teachers as part of A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC). The deadline for teachers to sign up for this innovative program is March 30, 2012.

 A Forest for Every Classroom, provided in partnership with the USDA Forest Service conservation education departments and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, will take place at the world renowned Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Thornton, NH.  FFEC is a year-long teacher professional development program that connects classroom teachers with experts and practitioners in natural science and provides the inspiration, knowledge, and skills required to transform their classroom teaching into effective and exciting place-based education. The Forest for Every Classroommodel was developed by a public-private partnership in Vermont in 2001.

 A Forest for Every Classroom provides sustained and intensive professional development to middle and high school teachers. In the course of the program, educators are provided with the knowledge, skills and mentoring necessary to revitalize their curriculum with effective and engaging place-based learning opportunities using nearby public lands and forested landscapes as their classrooms. Participating educators utilize activities from Project Learning Tree’s secondary modules and have the opportunity to work with some of the best resource professionals in their region. Educators develop or modify their own individualized curriculum, increasing student literacy skills while also enhancing student understanding and appreciation for public lands and forests within their own communities. The curriculum encourages “hands on” study of a community’s natural and cultural resources, integrating concepts of ecology, sense of place, land management/stewardship, service learning and civics.

For more information about A Forest for Every Classroom or to register, visit nhplt.org. Deadline for applications is March 30, 2012.

 “Environmental stewardship is increased first through an appreciation and study of the forest as a whole—its ecology, as well as the role of forests in the community’s culture and economics,” notes Caroline Amport, Executive Director of NH Project Learning Tree.  “The US Forest Service’s support of A Forest for Every Classroom will directly increase teachers’ understanding of the whole forest and their ability to make relevant connections for their students. This in turn builds a stronger sense of place and creates future forestland stewards.”