Forestry Extension: Youth Programs
Project Learning Tree (PLT)
Project Learning Tree is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for educators and students in Pre-K through grade 12. PLT. Sponsored by the American Forest Foundation, is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad.
PLT is a network of 3,000 grassroots volunteers and over 120 state coordinators that work with formal and nonformal educators, school staff, state agencies, foresters, businesses, civic organizations, museums, nature centers, and youth groups to provide professional development programs. To date, more than 500,000 educators are trained in using PLT materials, reaching approximately 26 million students in the United States and abroad.
PLT meets state and national education standards. The curriculum materials provide the tools educators need to bring the environment into the classroom and their students into the environment. Topics range from forests, wildlife, and water, to community planning, waste management and energy.
Through PLT, students learn environmental content that correlates to national and state standards in science, social studies, language arts, math, and other subjects – and strengthen their critical thinking, team building, and problem solving skills.
- To develop students' awareness, appreciation, skills, and commitment to address environmental issues.
- To provide a framework for students to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills to resolve environmental problems.
- To help students acquire an appreciation and tolerance of diverse viewpoints on environmental issues and develop attitudes and actions based on analysis and evaluation of the available information.
- To encourage creativity, originality, and flexibility to resolve environmental problems and issues.
- To inspire and empower students to become responsible, productive, and participatory members of society.
PLT works for teachers and other educators because:
- Materials are aligned with state and national education standards.
- Topics cover the total environment and are local, national, and global in scope.
- It provides the one great lesson a week you wish you had time to plan.
- It is adaptable to many contexts: classroom, playground, nature center, home.
- It can be easily adapted to various audiences: Pre-K through 12 students, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, nature center and museum visitors, 4-H clubs, and other community groups.
- It is cross-curricular: easy to infuse its environmental lessons into science, language arts, special education, and other classes.
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