September 4, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Twenty-four U.S. teachers, chosen as educational ambassadors through the Toyota International Teacher Program, will explore the rich environment of the Galapagos Islands, a designated World Heritage site off the coast of Ecuador, October 2-12, 2007.
The teachers will visit prominent sites on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. They will observe environmental projects, talk with experts and community leaders, and participate in activities that encourage global awareness about environmental conservation.
A key component of the program is a joint, two-day forum of American and Galapagueno teachers. The selected teachers from both countries will share innovative approaches to teaching environmental stewardship across all subjects and disciplines.
Open to educators in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the first time this year, the Toyota International Teacher Program strives to expose educators of all disciplines to the diversity of peoples and ecosystems worldwide in an effort to inspire the creative teaching of international, cultural and environmental themes in U.S. schools and communities.
"We're proud to provide teachers from around the country an opportunity to explore the Galapagos Islands—home to one of the world's richest ecosystems and a place where conservation and sustainability are critical to the survival of future generations," said Michael Rouse, corporate manager, philanthropy and community affairs at Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. "The global perspective teachers will gain from this experience and take back to their classroom and communities will help teach lessons in environmental responsibility that will last a lifetime."
The teacher program is just one area of Toyota's involvement with the Galapagos Islands. Working cooperatively with the World Wildlife Fund, Toyota has been helping to conserve the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands since 2001. Using its expertise in efficiency, waste minimization, energy use, recycling and lifecycle and systems thinking, Toyota has supported and/or funded many projects and programs in the Galapagos Islands, including a redesign of the main fuel-handling facility, renewable energy teacher education workshops and oil and municipal recycling programs. Community education and outreach have been key components of all projects.
Funded through a $1.2 million annual grant from TMS, the Toyota International Teacher Program is the only one of its kind sponsored by a major U.S. corporation. To date, nearly 500 teachers nationwide have participated.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) in Washington, D.C., the nation's most experienced nonprofit educational exchange organization, administers the program. "Studying nature and its conservation first hand and in a setting beyond our borders will teach key lessons about globalization and the world we share," said IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman.
The study tour to the Galapagos Islands is just one of three international professional development programs for teachers that Toyota sponsors each year. The next study visit will be to Costa Rica in February 2008, and the selection process for this program is currently underway. In June 2008, another international opportunity will be offered to Japan. Applications will be available October 2007. Visit www.iie.org/toyota.
The 24 educators traveling to the Galapagos Islands this fall teach a variety of subjects and were selected based on their professional and leadership qualifications, as well as their plans to incorporate their experiences and research into their curriculum. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, employed full-time as a secondary classroom teacher (grades 7-12) and have a minimum of three years of classroom experience. The teachers selected to participate in the 2007 Galapagos Islands study tour are:
Alabama Chasidy Miroff Brookwood Middle School Vance Arizona Eric Freund Cholla High School Tucson Beverly Koopman-Miller Connolly Middle School Tempe California Michael Wing Sir Francis Drake High School San Anselmo Florida Mary Robertson Fort Meyers High School Fort Meyers Georgia Joe Green Pope High School Marietta Illinois Peggy Deichstetter St. Edward High School Elgin Kansas Pam Zipfel Maize High School Maize Massachusetts Dana Crosby Hingham High School Hingham Michigan Donald Johnson Cass Technical High School Detroit Minnesota Jon Dicus The Blake School Minneapolis Montana Joseph Catron Billings West High School Billings
Nebraska Kevin Witte Kearney High School Kearney New Jersey Maureen Barrett Harrington Middle School Mt. Laurel New Mexico Kerri Lathrop East Mountain High School Sandia Park New York Myriam Ibarra Nottingham High School Syracuse Kelli Ramer New York State School for the Deaf Rome Oregon Autumn Obremski R.A. Brown Middle School Hillsboro Pennsylvania Regina Jones Big Beaver Falls Area Middle School Beaver Falls South Carolina J. Preston Lewis South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind Spartanburg Texas Shannon Hill The John Cooper School The Woodlands Vermont Karen Alexander Montpelier High School Montpelier Virginia Kathy Hoof Manchester High School Midlothian West Virginia Joyce Duvall Parkersburg High School Parkersburg
About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers. Toyota sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2006 in the United States.
About Toyota's Education Programs
In addition to sponsoring a number of nonprofit educational organizations, Toyota offers three major programs that support teachers with grants and students with scholarships; Toyota TAPESTRY, the largest K-12 science teacher grant program of its kind in the U.S.; Toyota Community Scholars, which provides 100 scholarships to high school seniors based on academics and community service and the Toyota International Teacher Program.
Toyota also supports scholarships through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund; United Negro College Fund; Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation; National FFA and the American Indian College Fund. In 2006, Toyota USA contributed $40 million to U.S. philanthropic programs, with a majority of funding supporting education. For more information, visit http://www.toyota.com/about/philanthropy/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Institute of International Education
An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world's most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.
IIE designs and implements over 250 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. IIE also conducts policy research and provides advice and counseling on international educational opportunities abroad. The Institute of International Education has a network of 15 offices worldwide, over 800 college and university members and more than 5,000 volunteers. Information about IIE can be obtained from IIE's Web site: www.iie.org/toyota, or by contacting Mike McCartt at email@example.com.