Alcoa Foundation has granted $15,000 to Friends of the Smokies to support teacher enrichment programs, including teacher workshops and opportunities for three teachers to spend a summer working as park rangers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“We all share an interest in improving student achievement in science and technology,” said Liz Dupree, Chief of Resource Education at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “By sharing our science and teaching resources with local teachers, we can reach thousands more students each year.”
Using the Alcoa Foundation grant funds, Friends of the Smokies will work with National Park Service staff to offer two science and technology workshops for a total of 60 teachers in the spring and summer of 2012. Grant funds will also pay for stipends and uniforms for three teachers to assist with the park’s resource education programs in the summer of 2012. Through both programs, teachers will learn about the park’s newest science programs and technology, efforts to encourage inquiry-based learning, and suggested lesson plans that address recent state-mandated curriculum changes.
Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations is the world’s largest producer of rolled aluminum can sheet for beverage cans and is based in Blount County, Tennessee. Alcoa employs more than 1,200 workers at its smelting and fabrication plants in Blount County, its hydropower facilities, and its downtown Knoxville office. Their Community Advisory Board assists Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations in prioritizing its philanthropic resources by representing the needs of the board’s constituents and communities.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Alcoa Foundation supports conservation and education work worldwide through its local and regional contacts. Alcoa Foundation has granted more than $350,000 to Friends of the Smokies since 2001, making them one of the top ten all-time donors to the Friends organization.