My Top Five Memories of AWS

In the two years I have worked as an educator at AWS, I have had so many wonderful experiences and opportunities.  Although I have many warm memories, my top five are as follows!

#5. Conducting service projects with students.
It always amazes me how engaged and excited students can get about trash clean ups, wetland plantings, etc.  I especially enjoyed the storm drain marking projects I did with students.  Every group I worked with, whether they were 8 or 18, got really into these!



Students from DC's Emery Education Campus mark storm drains in their neighborhood.

#4. Building relationships with teachers and students.
It is an awesome feeling returning to a school and feeling so welcomed and appreciated!  In two of the DC schools where I became a regular, I often got hugs from 20 kids in a row as I walked down the hall!


#3. That "a-ha" moment kids get when they learn how their actions affect the river.
I love when I see things "click" for a student.  This is when they realize that their actions and those of the people around them can either damage or restore the river; they see that they have the power to make a difference.


Emery second graders learn how they can help keep trash out of the river.

#2. Providing students with experiences they may not have had otherwise.
I'd estimate that 75% of the students I have taken on canoe and pontoon boat trips at AWS have never been on a boat before.  It is really very moving to see their excitement and anxious anticipation before the trip.  I have never heard one of these students tell me they didn't enjoy their experience; instead I often hear, "Can we go again?!"


Local middle school students "raft up" during a canoe trip on the river.


#1. Working to restore the river with such a passionate group of people.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff at AWS and admire each person's dedication to the cause.  This often involves sacrificing evenings and weekends, working long hours on grant proposals, and sometimes even falling in the river!  I applaud the work that AWS does and the people who are making it happen every day.


AWS staff getting ready to paddle on the Chesapeake Bay in 2010. 

I will be moving on to another opportunity this month, but I plan on supporting AWS in the future as I feel very stongly about the work they do!

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