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2 local teachers explore river system

Local teachers Elizabeth Sanchez and Felipe Magos, Jr. have returned to class with new tools to teach their students about how our watersheds work.

In early July, they attended the “Creeks to Coast” training program, an intense workshop led by Georgia Aquarium exploring the Chattahoochee River system from its headwaters near the North Georgia Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico at Apalachicola Bay, Florida.

Based on their “Creeks to Coast” experience, teachers commit to developing lesson plans for use in their classrooms and share their experience with fellow teachers.

“This a great opportunity to learn with hands-on experience about the watershed processes,” Sanchez said. “I brought back knowledge and experience that will help me plan the curriculum for a field trip to our local San Joaquin River.” Sanchez teaches sixth grade at Eastin-Arcola Elementary School.

“I am excited to incorporate what I learned about the river systems into the studies with my students,” Magos said. “It has a lot of possibilities to enhance what we already do with Earth sciences.” Magos teaches sixth grade at Lincoln Elementary School.

In its fourth year, the “Creeks to Coast” program is funded in part by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation. Sanchez and Magos are among eight elementary, middle and high school teachers Georgia-Pacific sponsored to attend from its facility communities in Arkansas, California and Georgia.

“Georgia-Pacific is proud to support education that directly addresses our communities’ water issues, including supply, quality and conservation,” said Anthony Garcia, area general manager of Georgia-Pacific’s Madera Corrugated facility facility. “Giving educators a hands-on learning experience is invaluable because it will enhance their classroom teaching and impact children in a meaningful way.”

The week-long workshop is designed around interactive learning. Field and cultural experiences included invertebrate sampling, a hydroelectric plant tour, fish hatchery and water treatment facility visits, hikes with interpretive rangers, meetings with scientific researchers, and exploration of oyster reef and barrier island ecosystems. A tour of Georgia-Pacific’s paper mill in Cedar Springs, Georgia, taught about water in the manufacturing process.

Georgia Aquarium’s “Creeks to Coast” workshop encourages sharing and reflecting on each day’s activities with other participating educators on how they might use those lessons in the classroom.

“Educators are able to interact with other educators and scientific researchers to learn about animals, their ecosystems, and the issues that all of them face. This is the fourth year we have been able to offer ‘Creeks to Coast’ thanks in part to Georgia-Pacific and we are so happy to provide this opportunity to educators,” said Kristyn Tumbleson, director of education at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

For information on the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, visit For information on Georgia Aquarium, visit

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