Brita Hampton was first trained in PLT in 2004 when she arranged a workshop for 25 teachers from six Catholic schools. Since then, she has organized numerous environmental education trainings for teachers at her school, Star of the Sea Regional Catholic School in Virginia Beach, and other area schools. As the school’s Science Coordinator, Brita engages teachers and students at all grade levels in PLT and other environmental education activities. She finds ways to involve her students in the community, such as asking them to present and display their work at local professional conferences. Brita also teaches science to grades 6-8.
In May 2006, over 30 of the school’s students from all nine grade levels presented at a general session during PLT’s International Coordinators’ Conference in Virginia Beach. The students shared their learning experiences from the six PLT activities they had completed that semester in their classrooms. They provided PLT state coordinators, facilitators, and educators from around the country with classroom-tested feedback on PLT’s revised PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide.
Last November, Brita organized a display of over two hundred pieces of student artwork produced by conducting seven different PLT activities. This artwork was on display for the 1,100 participants at the 2007 North American Association for Environmental Education Conference (NAAEE), also held in Virginia Beach. At the NAAEE Conference, Brita and her students taught PLT PreK-8 Guide’s Activity 51 “Make Your Own Paper.”
In 2006, Brita attended a week-long Forestry Camp sponsored by the Virginia Department of Forestry that included advanced training in PLT. When she returned, she implemented several activities in her Summer Science Program and facilitated a workshop for other teachers to share what she had learned. As a result, Brita and other Star of the Sea teachers regularly incorporate PLT activities, resources, and ideas into their classes and their students now spend more time learning outdoors.
Brita was named National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2008.