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Georgia-Pacific awards Farmington teachers with summer learning opportunities
GERMANTOWN, TN, MAY, 6, 2016– Danna Lane, a third grade teacher at Farmington Elementary School has been selected by Georgia-Pacific to attend Keystone Science School’s 2016 Key Issues Institute: Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom, this summer in Silverthorne, Colorado.

Held every June and July, the Key Issues program brings together K-12 educators from around the world for a highly interactive four and a half-day workshop. The program is designed to help teachers of all subjects build students’ critical thinking skills while also reinforcing teachers’ confidence and skills in bringing environmental issues and STEM-based principles (science, technology, engineering and math) into the classroom. Teachers learn to present scientific concepts in an unbiased way to their students while discovering ways to make environmental issues and STEM interesting and engaging.

Lane is one of 17 teachers sponsored to attend Key Issues from Georgia-Pacific’s facility communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Likewise, two fifth grade teachers, Beth Butler and Amy Harrell, will also take advantage of fellowship monies by the company to attend a summit of social studies teachers in Virginia this summer. The program, called “Liberties Guartanteed: The First Amendment”, will include lectures from Constitutional experts, historical site visits, networking, and new pedagogical resources and insights Lectures from Constitutional experts, historical site visits, networking, and new pedagogical resources and insights.

“Georgia-Pacific is proud to support educators by helping them highlight important environmental issues in engaging and creative ways,” said Chuck LaPorte, Mill Manager, of Georgia-Pacific’s Memphis Cellulose mill. “These programs give teachers the chance to learn about issues first-hand and it also provides tools they can use to share these important lessons with the students in our local community year after year.”

At Key Issues, for example, teachers work in teams to solve “real-life” scenarios such as investigating the source of a town’s health epidemic, testing water quality of a nearby river and building a sustainable cable-car model. Teachers bring home lesson plans and lab kits to apply what they’ve learned to their local classrooms.

Since 1997, Georgia-Pacific has sponsored nearly 200 teachers from its facility communities across the country to attend conferences like these.

“GP has really stepped up its efforts to support public education and environmental awareness in the Germantown and greater Memphis community,” said Zac Percoski, principal, Farmington Elementary School. “I am excited that three of my teachers get the opportunity of a life time to participate in these summer experiences”.