March 21, 2011
Mark Brennan, 570-340-5244
SCRANTON, Pa. – Steamtown National Historic Site partnered with the Scranton School District in 2010 to participate in the National Park Service "Teacher- Ranger-Teacher" Program.
John Marshall Elementary third grade teacher Ms. Ann Kisthart partnered with Interpretive Park Ranger and TRT Program Coordinator Suzanne Rozdilski to complete an eight-week program last summer working as a uniformed Park Ranger. Ms. Kisthart worked to review the Park's elementary education programs, assist with the Park's public tours, catalogue books at the Park library, and staff the Visitor Center. She is combining the knowledge learned and experiences gained into her classroom lessons during the current school year. She will don her NPS uniform in class during National Park Week (April 16 – 24) and discuss her summer as a Park Ranger. Ms. Kisthart will continue to share her experiences with her students when they visit the Park on Thursday, April 28.
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 — often due to a variety of social and economic factors. The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) Program offers a solution by linking National Park units with teachers from predominantly Title 1 school districts, and Steamtown NHS and the Scranton School District were partnered in 2010 to present this opportunity to middle-school students in the District.
Ms. Kisthart commented that, "I developed a yearlong lesson plan that integrates Steamtown NHS into my Social Studies unit on communities. The students will learn about many aspects of Steamtown, the steam engine, and the role railroading played in the development of our community. After my students learn about the whistle signals and hand signals, they will teach the signals to a first grade class. Additionally, my students will complete a poster project that will be displayed at Steamtown's History Museum during National Park Week. I know they will be especially excited about this part of our curriculum plans!"
The "Teacher-Ranger-Teacher" program began in Colorado in 2003 and became a nationwide program in 2007. During the summer of 2010, parks had more than 125 Teacher Rangers in uniform learning about their national heritage and serving National Park visitors.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Information on Park curriculum-based education programs may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5306 during business hours, or by visiting "For Teachers" at the Steamtown NHS web site, www.nps.gov/stea anytime!
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