About River School
History: A flow of ideas
Planting the seeds of river stewardship is what River School is all about. For several years, Friends of the White River conducted its Kingfisher Project, a watershed education program aimed at elementary school students. FOWR members involved in that project soon looked for ways to develop a similar program for high school students and found a model in the Arrowhead Country Expedition.
The Arrowhead Country Expedition has an established history in a 10-county region in northern Indiana, rafting the Tippecanoe or the Mississinewa each year. The program is wildly successful with up to 500 students participating each fall. Because Phase II of the Kingfisher Project included a rafting expedition, Friends planners decided an on-the-water day trip would be the best and most productive way for high school teachers to provide a top-notch learning experience for their students.
River School dipped its toes in the water on Saturday, June 1, 2002 with an inaugural teacher training trip, thanks to early support from the White River Environmental Partnership and the Department of Public Works for the City of Indianapolis. Teachers from public, parochial and private schools in Indianapolis and the surrounding metropolitan area took part and provided valuable insights for developing the program for high school students.
The first student trip “launched” in the fall of that year as 35 students from Arlington and Cardinal Ritter High Schools took on-land teaching sessions at Holliday Park.
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