Joe DeLoach reporting
Since 2006, the Trails to Every Classroom (TTEC) program has successfully engaged 230 teachers from all 14 states through which the Appalachian Trail passes. These include two teachers in Kingsport city schools, one in Unicoi County, and two in Bristol, Virginia. Other area teachers have expressed interest in the program. As a result of the high quality professional development opportunities that TTEC provides, this program has the potential to get young people along the AT corridor excited about learning and about the AT. These TTEC teachers and their students could potentially be the future members and leaders of Trail clubs like ours.
One of the goals of this initiative is to ensure that teachers have both the appropriate amount and type of support required to help them integrate the AT into the classroom experience they are attempting to provide their students. Much of that support can come from members of Trail clubs who would be willing to serve as a liaison or point of contact for TTEC teachers who are seeking assistance in connecting their students to the AT. Ideal volunteers include people with an education background or simply anyone interested in helping area schools get more involved with the Trail.
Another initiative seeking to build on the successes of TTEC is the formation of a TTEC Advisory Council. This council will serve as a working group whose focus is to provide relevant, useful feedback that ATC and National Park Service staff can use to enhance and build on the success of the Trail to Every Classroom program.
If you have interest in learning more about or supporting the Trails to Every Classroom program, please contact Joe DeLoach at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 423-753-7263, or Appalachian Trail Conservancy Southern Region Community Programs Manager Julie Judkins at email@example.com or 828-254-3708.