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Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406-888-7895
Rachel Brockway joins the Glacier National Park staff this summer as part of the Teacher-to-Ranger-to-Teacher program. Brockway teaches second grade at Evergreen Elementary School. She says annual field trips with her students into the park during National Park Week spurred her interest in the program.
The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT) Program links National Park units with teachers from Title 1 urban and rural school districts. Selected teachers spend the summer working as park rangers, often living in the park. They perform 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 special projects.
Then, during the school year, these teacher-rangers bring the parks into the classroom by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer’s experiences. In April, during National Park Week, teacher-rangers wear their NPS uniforms to school, discuss their summer as a park ranger, and engage students and other teachers in activities that relate to America’s national parks.
Brockway is working at the Apgar Visitor Center and giving a variety of interpretive programs in the Lake McDonald Valley through early August. She says her favorite experience has been helping youngsters become Junior Rangers. Brockway says she is excited to share all she has learned about the spectacular geological formations in Glacier National Park when she returns to the classroom this fall.
This is made possible through an Inter-governmental Personnel Act Agreement (IPA) between the public school district and the National Park Service. The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program began in 2003 and in 2007 became a national program. During the summer of 2008, parks had more than 80 teacher-rangers in uniform learning about their national heritage and serving National Park Service visitors.
For more information on the program, please visit the National Park Service website at : http://www.nps.gov/wupa/forteachers/trt.htm .