DeSoto County teacher awarded grant for water resources education project

News Release

*DeSoto County High School's* Jerry Waters was among the educators who were awarded Splash! school grants through the "Southwest Florida Water Management District(Southwest Florida Water Management District)":/.

This year 206 "Splash! grants(Splash! School Grants)":/education/schoolgrants were awarded to educators across "the District's 16-county region":/data/map.

Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributes the effectiveness of the grant program in DeSoto County to the partnership with DeSoto County Schools, which helped get the word out to teachers. Betsy Sorrels and Debbie Halvorson from DeSoto County's Instructional Services serve as the District's liaisons to teachers.

"These teachers are receiving a small amount of money but are able to accomplish so much," said Hull. "Grant recipients also use the District's collection of curriculum materials and other free educational resources."

*DeSoto County High School's* Waters will receive $4,985. Students will perform a series of water quality tests on local water bodies. They will also perform habitat surveys and observe local wildlife. The high school students will share their work and findings with elementary students during special school science events.

The goal of the Splash! school grant program is to provide hands-on learning opportunities that teach students about their local watersheds and the freshwater resources within them. Splash! school grants provide up to $5,000 per school on a reimbursement basis only and are available to public, private and homeschool teachers.

"Past Splash! grant projects(2009 Splash! school grants)":/education/schoolgrants/projects.php include water quality monitoring of local lakes and rivers, the development of water-conserving gardens on school properties, and outreach campaigns designed to promote awareness of water-conserving practices.

In addition to Splash! grant funding, the District offers educators free teacher training workshops, speakers for classroom presentations and free educational materials. The publications are correlated to Florida's Sunshine State Standards and can also be ordered on the District's web site at " publications)":/publications.