The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is offering a $1,000 grant to a third-, fourth- or fifth-grade public or private school teacher in the state who demonstrates "exceptional energy and innovation in teaching life sciences." Science specialists covering those grade levels can also apply.

The Conservation Teacher of the Year grant is coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Section of DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. Funding is provided by the section’s friends group, The Environmental Resources Network (TERN).

Through education, research and management, the Wildlife Conservation Section works to "safeguard Georgia's native diversity of wild animals, plants and their habitats, while also striving to increase public enjoyment of the outdoors. The purpose of the grant is to recognize and help an outstanding teacher who uses Georgia’s native wildlife and habitats as the context for learning, explained Linda May, DNR outreach coordinator."

Previous recipients covered state curriculum standards through innovative lessons, outdoor investigations and community outreach.

This fall, another teacher will be selected to receive funding based on project design, evaluated through applicant answers to grant proposal questions.

"Projects that are especially creative and teach about Georgia’s rare or endangered species, as well as solid projects that have no other means of funding, will earn bonus points," organizers said.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 20. DNR will notify the grant winner by Sept. 10.

For more information about the Conservation Teacher of the Year grant, contact Linda May at linda.may@dnr.ga.gov or 706-319-0211 or Anna Yellin at anna.yellin@dnr.ga.gov or 706-557-3283.

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