Suzanne Johnson, a sixth-grade teacher at Riverside Elementary School, was among the first group of teachers to enroll in the TAP-US training last summer.
“TAP-US made it possible for me to bring my students into the wild, as opposed to trying to bring the wild into my classroom,” she said. “It’s much more motivating for them to have those experiences where they get wet, whether it’s rain or walking in streams. Enduring the Mud Lake Bog hike has become a metaphor for being able to ‘endure’ classroom challenges. For me, this experience has not only helped me to turn my students into much better advocates for a cleaner world, it has helped me, too.”
The TAP-US initiative has received funding for next year and is currently recruiting teachers to participate in a weeklong teacher development workshop in July.
“We work with local teachers to develop lesson plans they implement in school,” Hagenbuch said. Through the Pine Lake facility, “we enhance their ability to take their plans outdoors.” Anyone wanting to get information about participating in the initiative can contact Hagenbuch at 607-431-4518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the program is available on the TAP-US website at www.hartwick.edu/tapus.