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Contact: Howard Duncan, 423-569-2404 ext 260
This summer, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will again be participating in the National Park Service program called Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT). Last year was the first time the program was offered at Big South Fork. A local teacher was selected for the position and by every measure had a very rewarding experience. Application forms and information have been sent to local school districts, and a local educator will be selected from the applicants to work as a park ranger during the summer. While wearing the National Park Ranger uniform, the teacher performs various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park, including developing and presenting interpretive programs for the general public, staffing the visitor center desk, developing curriculum-based materials for the park, or taking on educational projects. The teacher then takes back to the classroom curriculum-based programs that draw on the summer's experience and introduces students to the remarkable American heritage that national parks preserve. Teacher rangers form a link between school children and national parks.
National parks enrich the lives of many in this nation. They provide access to the powerful ideas, values, and meanings associated with the remarkable cultural, natural, and recreational heritage of the United States. The National Park Service strives to provide opportunities for all Americans to connect to their national heritage through the national parks. However, these opportunities are lacking for some children. The TRT program offers a solution, by linking national park units with teachers from local school districts.
The TRT program is made possible through an Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement (IPA) between the public school district and the NPS. The program was first initiated in 2003 and became a national program in 2007. As park ambassadors, the teacher rangers take what they learn back to their home schools and share unique experiences with children, the future caretakers of America's special places. During the summer of 2010, parks nationwide had over 125 teacher rangers.
If a local teacher from Scott, Fentress or McCreary County is interested in applying for the TRT program, they may do so by contacting their principal or the superintendent of their school district. They may also learn more about the TRT program by visiting the Big South Fork website.
For further information, contact Howard Duncan at (423) 569-2404, extension 260, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/biso.