Educational Workshops to Take Place on New Floating Classroom Print
News Releases - Environment, Weather & Nature
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Friday, 27 July 2012 08:11
Davenport, IA / July 25, 2012 – It’s not always easy to bring the lesson into the classroom, especially if it involves the health of our Country’s rivers. That is why Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) has found a way to bring the classroom to the river with their new barge. This new 150-foot long barge features a handicapped-accessible classroom, which can host up to 60 attendees at a time, as well as sleeping quarters for an 8 person Living Lands & Waters crew. The new barge will be in Davenport for an educator workshop Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th.

The educator workshops will bring teachers and instructors on board for day long programs on a number of different topics ranging from History to Biology to the Navigation of our waterways, which they can then bring back to their classroom. This is also a chance for teachers to learn about the opportunity of student workshops, which will be conducted in various locations throughout the school year. Living Lands & Waters has been conducting educational workshops since 2003, but this experience could only be attended by teachers and instructors.  “We developed these workshops to give teachers a hands on look at our river environment with lessons they could take back to their students.  The instructors who attended were so engaged, but all said this would have much more of an impact if their students could be on the barge for something like this,” says Tammy Becker, coordinator of the LL&W’s Educational Workshops.  Over the years, LL&W held 92 teacher workshops for more than 1,700 teachers and educators. There were over a 100 different presenters in these presentations and over 60 different topics covered.

“This is a big collaborative effort that will affect so many students nationally.  A first hand look at our rivers will have an impact on these kids for years to come,” says Chad Pregracke, LL&W founder.   LL&W plans to begin focusing on High School Juniors and Seniors. “We plan to work with teachers to customize workshops to dove-tail with the curriculum they are currently concentrating on, be it ecology, history or economics,” said LL&W founder Chad Pregracke.

“This is really taking the education of our rivers to a whole new level and it could not have been done without the help of the many businesses who believe in what we’re doing,” expressed Pregracke.  The floating classroom was made possible by the generous support of five of LL&W’s long-term partners: ADM, AEP River Operations, Ingram Barge Company, Caterpillar and Cargill as well as a number of Unions who gave so many hours of labor to help complete this project.

Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats.  LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a-River-Mile programs and the Million Trees Project.  Recently, LL&W founder Chad Pregracke was honored by the Points of Light Foundation.  This distinguished honor, established by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush was awarded during a televised ceremony from the Lincoln Center which featured all of the living former presidents.   Chad ads this honor to many others he’s received in recognition of his achievements since founding LL&W.  They include a Jefferson Award, and awards from the American Institute for Public Service; Heroes of Conservation Nomination and Field & Stream Magazine.

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