A group of students listen to a teacher ranger near the Bubble Rocks. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Park service offers Acadia teacher fellowships

BAR HARBOR — The National Park Service (NPS) is recruiting six Acadia teacher fellows to spend the summer learning about Acadia National Park’s diverse natural and cultural resources and ways to protect them.

The NPS will select three teachers to work on Mount Desert Island and two teachers to work at the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) in Winter Harbor. In addition, the NPS will select one teacher to work at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Calais.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

“Many classroom teachers dream about living in and learning about our national parks,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Acadia Teacher Fellowships are helping make those dreams come true.”

The Acadia Teacher Fellowship program connects teachers and students to national parks. For six weeks during the summer, teacher fellows will interact with visitors on public programs and along carriage roads and hiking trails in the park. They will attend ranger-led interpretive programs, be given place-based training, participate in citizen science activities, interact with park professionals and much more.

Teacher fellows will be asked to create a lesson plan related to Acadia’s resources to take back to their classroom and share with other educators. In addition, they will learn about turning their schoolyards into outdoor learning environments. Newly acquired, first-hand knowledge of our national parks will enrich the teacher’s classroom curriculum throughout the school year and, in particular, during National Park Week in April, during which teacher fellows can introduce a larger student audience to the important mission of the NPS.

Acadia teacher fellows will receive weekly stipends, teaching materials from Eastern National (the park’s bookstore partner) and shared park housing, as may be available. Additional benefits include a free class trip to Acadia or another national park site near their school and assistance with designing an outdoor classroom at their school.

The Acadia Teacher Fellowship program at Acadia National Park is funded by Friends of Acadia. Funding from Dawnland LLC has allowed the NPS to expand the program to Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.

For information about Acadia National Park, visit www.nps.gov/acad or call 288-3338.

The park service invites full-time, K-12 public school teachers to apply online by March 1. Visit https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm and search for “teacher fellowship.” For more information, call 288-8812 (for Mount Desert Island), 288-1312 (for SERC) and 454-3871 (for Saint Croix Island International Historic Site). Priority will be given to teachers from schools with students who are underrepresented, economically disadvantaged or have limited access to parks. Preference also will be given to teachers from Maine schools and those who do not require housing.

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