Five Rivers MetroParks is currently accepting nominations for its fourth annual OUTstanding Teacher Awards, open to Dayton-area classroom educators who teach any subject from pre-K through high school. Nominations are due January 31, 2018.
A winner will be selected from each of the following categories:
- Rising Star (less than 10 years of teaching experience)
- Leader (10 to 20 years of teaching experience)
- Lifetime Achievement (more than 20 years of teaching experience)
“Children who have the opportunity to connect with nature on a regular basis are often happier, healthier and smarter,” said Lauren Asquith, a Five Rivers MetroParks education specialist. “This award recognizes educators who use nature as a classroom to explore a variety of academic disciplines, and celebrates the impact of these educators in our community.”
Awardees will be honored at the Miami Valley Leave No Child Inside Summit held Saturday, March 10, at the Main Branch of the Dayton Metro Library. Winning teachers will also receive an award package containing:
- A one-year membership to the Cox Arboretum Foundation and a field trip to Cox Arboretum MetroPark for the winning educator’s class (includes transportation).
- Kit with plants selected for winning teachers’ schools
- Environmental Education Council of Ohio membership (includes money to use toward the 101 Conference held at Camp Kern the first weekend of October)
- Outdoor educational materials to assist in connecting students to the environment
Funded through the James M. Cox Jr. Arboretum Foundation, the award is for teachers providing students with outdoor, environmental experiences that inspire interest in and positive attitudes about nature.
“Submitting a nomination is a great way for students, parents, teachers, principals, family or friends to acknowledge and honor a teacher who is using nature across their curriculum,” Asquith says.
Anyone can nominate a teacher by writing a short essay or producing a video (less than five minutes long) that answers the following:
- Why do you feel this teacher is deserving of the OUTstanding Teacher Award?
- In what ways does this teacher get students outside during the school day?
- In what ways does this teacher weave nature into the curriculum?
- Does this teacher get students outdoors after typical school hours? Please provide specifics about what the teacher does!
- What are the most significant positive impacts the nominee has made on other teachers/ the school community?
- How does your candidate go above and beyond leading his/her students in outdoor experiences? Please provide specific examples of what the teacher does!
- How does this teacher utilize outdoor space at the school? Has he/she created or enhanced a green school yard?
- Why are you personally nominating this person?
Additionally, award submissions should include two photos of the teacher that capture the great work he/she are doing, getting kids outside and bringing nature into the curriculum.
Nominations can be submitted by completing an online form and either posting a video toYouTube or uploading the written essay. Information on judging criteria can be found online atmetroparks.org/outstanding. Videos do not have to be professionally produced, as the content of the message is what will be judged. Please be as specific as possible in your nomination, so judges have a clear understanding of the amazing work and the impact of your award candidate.
Community volunteers with a background in outdoor education will judge the awards. Five Rivers MetroParks employees, the James M. Cox Jr. Foundation board members, Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation board members, Friends of Carriage Hill board members, Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation board members, award judges and their immediate families are not eligible.
ABOUT FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS
Celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. Five Rivers MetroParks is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).