The NEMIGLSI Network is currently hosting it’s annual at Lake Huron Summer Teacher Institute.
Learning unique ways to take students from the classroom to the outdoors was the key role Wednesday, teachers from all over the state of Michigan traveled to Alpena to learn skills to connect their students to the great lakes through school community partnerships including the ‘Place Based Stewardship Education Program.’
“Here in Michigan wherever you are in the state, our water ways connect to the Great Lakes, so it’s really important to learn about how as humans we can have an impact, and then ways we can help benefit our community and better protect our Great Lakes,” NEMISGLSI Network Coordinator, Meaghan Gass said.
Visiting Rotary Island Park, teachers learned about native pollinators, nature journaling, litter clean ups, and frog bits. The 3rd grade lead teacher, Tina DenBleyker said learning outdoors could be very therapeutic for students.
“They (students) get to apply what they are learning from a textbook and they actually get to go out into the river and do their testing. They get their hands dirty and learn about native plants, how to protect monarchs, while building new habitats for them which is priceless.” 3rd Grade Lead Teacher, Lincoln Elementary, Tina DenBleyker said.
The 4 day program is also geared towards encouraging teachers to help educate their students to give back to their community and learn about careers and community partners that may encourage students to become interested in future jobs that will help maintain the great lakes and the nature in Michigan.
Another plus to the week training is the $500 stipend teachers receive to take back to their schools to execute the place based stewardship education efforts to the classroom.