Levy County teacher awarded grant for water resources education project

News Release

**Yankeetown School's Genie Sturtevant 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.

For the past seven years, the "Withlacoochee River Basin Board(Withlacoochee River Basin Board)":/about/basinboards/withlacoochee.php has provided funding for Yankeetown School's watershed education project.

Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributes the success of the long-term project to the leadership of middle school teacher Genie Sturtevant.

"Students gain first-hand knowledge about their local watershed through this project," said Hull. "They learn why and how to protect and conserve our freshwater resources."

*Yankeetown School's* Sturtevant will receive $2,480. Students will research information about the Withlacoochee River watershed and take field trips to the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve. Students will study the organisms that inhabit the area and investigate the idea that water is the defining factor for various ecosystems throughout the preserve. Students will also investigate the importance of wise water use and its impact on the watershed.

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 "WaterMatters.org/publications/(Free publications)":/publications.