Gorham, Randolph, and Shelburne, New Hampshire
Ed Fenn Elementary School and Gorham Middle/High School Working with the Appalachian Mountain Club and Trailmasters
In Gorham, high school students have the opportunity to use the town’s own 3,000 acre forest as a natural resource for learning. Teachers were trained to develop curriculum for using the town forest by Project Learning Tree and by CO-SEED. As a result freshmen, students participate in Freshmen Field Day, an event that involves students in tree identification, trail maintenance and wildlife assessment. Building upon that experience, sophomore work includes a focus on winter survival, orienteering and collection of data about the forest health.
As juniors, students collect data on the wetlands and water quality. Some seniors choose to extend selected parts of their previous work into their senior project, the culmination of which has become an open event for sharing student work with the larger community.
At the third grade level, students have constructed a school yard nature trail and have written a children’s book about the town of Gorham for visiting tourists to read to their children. Students at the middle school level utilize the Appalachian Mountain Club’s extensive backcountry hut system as a way to study the outdoors, principles of ecological sustainability and to bond as a group of students. The Appalachian Mountain Club and Trailmasters have both partnered with Gorham as ELC representatives. Together they have helped Gorham implement place-based projects at almost every grade level.
In The News…
Welcome to publishing – Berlin Reporter, 4/17/02
Gorham students take a field trip to town forest – Berline Daily Sun, 6/8/99
Sample Success Stories
* High School students utilize the town forest as part of a 4 year curriculum.
* Third grade students wrote and published a book about their community.
* High School students have written about local places to be published in the local newspaper.
* Community members have taken an active role in mapping school curriculum.
* Middle school students utilize Appalachian Mountain Hut system as part of their curriculum on issues of sustainability