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Sparta Middle School's Holdsworth Attends Workshop in Montana

Posted Wed, Oct 2nd, 2013 Sparta Independent and NJ Herald By Gwen Donovan

Emily Holdsworth in Glacier National Park Montana

Emily Holdsworth, an eighth grade science teacher at Sparta Middle School, attended a four-day climate change workshop held at Glacier National Park in Montana in June. Holdsworth became aware of the workshop through the Sparta Education Foundation and was encouraged to apply by Sparta Middle School's principal, Doug Layman.

As one of just 20 teachers from across the United States who attended the four-day workshop, Holdsworth learned about climate change and its impact within and around Glacier National Park.  The teachers' home base during the workshop was the Glacier Institute Field Camp in the park's West Glacier location. 

"It was a great honor to be chosen to participate in the Climate Change Workshop, and I was proud to represent Sparta's schools," Holdsworth said.  "It was an unforgettable experience to be surrounded by the remarkable natural beauty of Glacier National Park, and I am so enthousiastic about sharing everything I learned at the workshop with my students.  I appreciate the Sparta Education Foundation's assistance as I went through the application process, and I am thankful that I was given this rare opportunity."

Workshop activities included helping design hands-on service learning projects for students focusing on climate change as well as speakers and presentations from experts in a variety of fields. Middle and High School teachers hiked through Glacier National Park and observed climate change firsth and.  In addition, teachers were given numerous tools and resources to bring back to the classroon.  Some of these reources included lesson plans, videos, worksheets and assessments.

Don Cutshall, a Sparta residentand President of the SEF, serves on the board of advisors for Glacier National Park Consevancy.  He initiated the application process for the Climate Change Workshop.

The SEF has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to all five of Sparta's public schools since 2007.  The foundation is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving that strengthens the public schools, supports teachers, and inspires students.  For more information, visit spartaeducationfoundation.org.



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