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6th Annual Everglades Teacher Symposium Makes a Splash with Largest Attendance to Date

On July 18, 2023, The Everglades Foundation held its 6th Annual Everglades Teacher Symposium. This year's theme, “The Power of Water,” reflected the vital importance of water to our environment and the state at large, with Symposium presenters emphasizing the path towards students’ “Everglades literacy.”

This event brought together 189 educators from 93 different schools and organizations, representing 16 counties across Florida. This was The Everglades Foundation’s highest-attended Teacher Symposium to date and reflects the impact of their statewide Education program. 

Sessions for the day included resources and programming about the importance, value, and life cycle of mangroves, the history of the Tequesta People of Southeast Florida, and hands-on STEM lessons. Attendees also heard from Everglades Champion School teachers who presented effective Everglades Literacy lessons and activities they had offered students during the school year. Other organizations in attendance included Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation, Inwater Research Group, and Blue Missions.

“I’ve been to every Symposium since the beginning,” said Jessica Hernandez of Miami Lakes K-8 Center, who has been teaching students about the Everglades for seven years. “It’s incredible even though you go every year. I leave with something new and am passionate about something else. I love the venues. I get to go to places that maybe I didn’t know existed. It’s always something I look forward to, I'm excited about, and I'm never left wanting more.”

The Symposium was hosted at the Roz and Cal Kovens Conference Center on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. The campus' prime location near Biscayne Bay also provided teachers the opportunity to participate in a morning kayak ride with Miami EcoAdventures the day before the Symposium. In addition, The Everglades Foundation invited attendees to visit Arch Creek Park and go on a “Tequesta Adventure” with Miami EcoAdventures, where they learned about the indigenous Tequesta people and how they lived in what is now South Florida.

“When The Everglades Foundation goes big, they go really big,” stated Keisha Kidd, a middle school teacher at Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8. “It's always engaging, and I'm just feeling supported. […] I always get something new, something rich. Even though I'm well-versed in Everglades Literacy, I can take something new away.”

To learn more about the Everglades Literacy Program and the 2023 Teacher Symposium, visit


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