SANTA FE, NM – November, 2010 – The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) recently debuted its Natural Teachers Award program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Top honors went to Larry Volpe, a 5th grade teacher at Daniel Lairon Elementary School in Santa Clara County. Dennis Dowling (Wilcox High School, Santa Clara County), Halo Shapiro Smart (REAL Academy, Redwood High School, San Mateo County), and Rona Zollinger (Environmental Studies Academy, Briones School, Contra Costa County) were named as finalists from a field of 23 nominees.
Click here to read profiles of all of the nominees.
The Natural Teachers Award recipient will receive an educational voyage to the Galapagos Islands with Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic. Finalists will receive five hundred dollars each.
C&NN partnered with Lindblad Expeditions, the Stewardship Council, the Foundation for Youth Investment, the Morgan Family Foundation, and the Bay Area Children in Nature Collaborative on this pilot award. “These groups share our mission of connecting children with nature. They also know that teachers have a special role to play. Together we are working to empower and expand the community of teachers dedicated to making the outdoors an integral part of teaching and learning,” noted C&NN President & CEO, Cheryl Charles.
“Traveling around the country, I often meet educators who experience firsthand the challenges our children face: obesity, distraction, hyperactivity, and disinterest in learning. Such teachers also understand the importance of using the natural world as a classroom—they’ve seen the benefits.” Richard Louv,…