DNR Expands Eligibility for Its Conservation Teacher of the Year Grant

The coronavirus pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to teachers and students this year.

So, to help advance life-sciences education during these trying times, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is expanding the eligibility for its Conservation Teacher of the Year grant.

The $1,000 grant is now offered to a kindergarten through fifth-grade public or private school teachers in Georgia who demonstrates exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences.

Science specialists covering those grades can also apply.

In July, the DNR opened the grant application process but it was only available to third- through fifth-grade educators.

Prospective teachers must use Georgia’s native animals, plants and habitats as the context for covering Georgia Standards of Excellence.

According to project Coordinator Linda May Although this grant emphasizes life science, cross-curricular teaching is highly encouraged.

Grant award preference will be given to teachers who demonstrate creativity in project design and use the outdoors as a context for learning.

Lessons may be conducted in-person (on school grounds) or virtually (online).

Projects that highlight rare wildlife, including plants, will receive extra consideration.

DNR outreach coordinator Linda May tells WLHR News that by fostering connections with nature, teachers help improve students’ health and well-being.

She said the benefits of making and strengthening those outdoor connections will last a lifetime.

The Conservation Teacher of the Year grant is coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Section of DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division.

Through education, research and management, the Wildlife Conservation Section works to safeguard Georgia’s native diversity of wild animals, plants and their habitats, while also striving to increase public enjoyment of the outdoors. Funding is provided by the section’s friends group, The Environmental Resources Network, better known as TERN.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 20, 2020. DNR will notify the grant winner by Dec. 4, 2020.

For more information about the Conservation Teacher of the Year grant, please visit georgiawildlife.com/TeachingConservationGrant or contact Linda May ([email protected], 706-319-0211) or Anna Yellin ([email protected], 706-557-3283).