Georgia educators now have the opportunity to get their feet wet on a weeklong canoe and kayak trip on the Etowah River, which is scheduled for mid-June.
Teacher scholarship applications are now open for Paddle Georgia, an annual seven-day trip sponsored by the Georgia River Network, which will run from June 17-23.
Now in its 13th year, Paddle Georgia takes place on a different Georgia river each year.
In its first 12 years, Georgia River Network guided more than 4,000 people down 1,200 miles of Georgia rivers and generated more than $400,000 in river protection funds.
More than 70 Georgia educators have participated in the scholarship program, which will transport about 450 participants through north Georgia this year.
The Educators Scholarship Program gives teachers the opportunity to participate in the trip free of charge and also offers environmental education training throughout the week.
“The goal of the program is to have teachers use their experiences on the river and in the workshops to incorporate environmental education in their classrooms,” said Joe Cook, Paddle Georgia coordinator.
On the journey, teachers will have access to Project WET, a water education program that contains more than 60 classroom-ready activities.
Teachers will also become Project WET certified, as well as Adopt-A-Stream data collectors, a volunteer-run water monitoring program.
Paddle Georgia Educator’s Scholarships are offered to all Georgia educators, but preference will be given to educators who live in the upper Coosa River basin area, which includes Forsyth.
Though it is a 125-mile journey, the trip is appropriate for novice paddlers as well as experienced paddlers.
Children as young as 4 and residents as old as 84 have participated.
In 2015, a teacher from Daves Creek Elementary School won one of six scholarships offered that year.
The scholarship deadline is April 15, and can be found at garivers.org/paddle_georgia/. Winners will be announced by April 20.