Friends of the Rappahannock’s Education Department has continued to expand its reach in the Rappahannock River watershed. This year we will be able to increase our education programs for all ages with help from some great partners.A River Runs through Us is a growing program brought to Richmond County Public Schools’ sixth-grade class in 2013-2014, with partner organizations from the Three Rivers Environmental Educators group. This program is supported by funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. It has made a significant impact in the students’ understanding of their role in the watershed and the water’s health.

Comparing benchmark tests from last year to this year, sixth grade science teacher Patty Ptucha says that her students have improved 100%. Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, A River Runs through Us is continuing in Richmond County Public Schools next year and is expanding to Lancaster and Essex County Public Schools. We are so excited to help more students make connections between their actions and the health of the river.

Some of our youngest learners will also receive expanded programs during the 2014-2015 school year. Thanks to a grant from PNC Bank’s Grow Up Great program, Spotsylvania Head Start is a new partner that will receive teacher professional development, classroom visits, and field experiences led by FOR education staff. FOR has worked with the Fredericksburg Regional Head Start for several years, serving hundreds of preschoolers. We are so happy to offer this opportunity to Spotsylvania preschoolers!

By Lowery Pemberton and Daria Christian, FOR Education Department

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