Teacher – Ranger – Teacher Program
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 children, often due to a variety of social and economic factors. The Teacher to Ranger to Teacher (TRT) Program offers a solution, by linking national parks with teachers from Title I schools (40% of students on free or reduced cost lunch). TRTs form links between school children and their national parks.
Selected teachers spend a summer working as uniformed Park Rangers. They perform various duties depending on their interests and the needs of the park, including developing and presenting interpretive programs for the general public, staffing the visitor center desk, developing curriculum-based materials for the park, or taking on educational projects.
Then, during the school year, these TRTs bring the park “into the classroom” by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer’s experience. In April, during National Park Week, TRTs wear their Park Ranger uniforms to school, discuss their summer as a Park Ranger, and engage students and other teachers in activities that relate to their national park.