August 14, 2015
Contact: Mary Kay Manning
For the tenth year in a row, Big Thicket National Preserve participated in the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program. Blanca Jones, a 1st grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School in Port Arthur, worked as TRT from late May into early August of 2015. In addition to creating and leading children’s programs in the preserve throughout the summer, she also developed a lesson plan based on the Big Thicket to use in her classroom and completed three credit hours of graduate coursework in place-based education. She took hundreds of photos throughout the preserve in order to share the scenery, plants, animals, fungi, and her experiences here with her students and colleagues, and has already arranged a field trip to bring many of her fellow teachers from the Port Arthur area to the preserve for a ranger-led hike.
“We greatly appreciate all of Ms. Jones’ hard work, energy, and creativity this summer. We hope that her experience here will lead to further collaboration between Big Thicket National Preserve, Sam Houston Elementary School, and other schools and families in the area,” said Chief of Interpretation and Education Jason Ginder.
Funding for the TRT program was provided by a grant from the Washington Office of the National Park Service. National park sites throughout the country participate in this program, giving hundreds of teachers the opportunity to share their educational skills with parks, and their park experiences with their students.
In the spring of each year, Big Thicket National Preserve and other park units around the country recruit teachers for this dynamic program. For more information, teachers are encouraged to go to the TRT website at http://teacherrangerteacher.org.
For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700.
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