Student of the the James

Adventures of a lifetime!

Our Education program connects youth with river-based learning experiences that inspire confidence, ecological understanding, nature appreciation, and conservation action. The James River Association provides interdisciplinary learning experiences that are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Activities are field-based and use the context of the James River to bring complex concepts to life.

We engage students through hands-on experience and student-directed investigations enhanced by technology and real-world applications. We are committed to providing a safe place for all students to learn and grow no matter their background experience or knowledge.

Our Education Programs are Watershed-Wide

Education Program News

Teacher Appreciation Week

It is Teacher Appreciation Week! While we appreciate our teachers every day, this is the week set aside to recognize the impact they have on the lives of millions of children every day. We honor the teachers who play an important role in our children’s...

James River Expedition Teacher Spotlight

Having grown up a few blocks from the James River in Newport News, the river has always played an important role in my life. In fact, behind my old elementary school, Hilton Elementary, is where I learned to swim, fish, and crab. So, imagine my...

The JRLA has changed my life

by Maggie, James River Leadership Academy StudentThe James River Leadership Academy has changed almost every aspect of my life. This program has altered how I view myself and the world around me. When I first signed up, I had no idea what I was getting...

James River Expedition Experience – Eliza Wrenn

The James River Expedition is an educational adventure, in which high school students collectively paddle the length of the James, teaches students conservation, responsible stewardship and the river’s history while camping and traveling aboard canoes,...

What is the JRLA?

The James River Leadership Academy (JRLA) is a year-long leadership program for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade high school students who are interested in advocating for the future of the James River. Students will develop awareness of how to apply environmental...

Nat Draper

Education Manager
(804) 788-8811 ext 218


Educational Resources

Check out our JRA Education Program Catalog for complete descriptions and SOL details.


Did you know?

We also offer continuing education classes for teachers and workshops and educational events for adults. Check our calendar for information on upcoming events.

“What a Healthy River Means to Me” Poster Contest

The results are in from the seventh annual “What a Healthy River Means to Me” poster contest. Middle school students in the City of Richmond, City of Lynchburg, Goochland, Hanover County, James City County, Henrico County, Charles City County and Chesterfield that are situated within five miles of the James River, or have participated in our education programs were invited to illustrate “What a Healthy River Means to Me”.

This year we had 100 students submit entries that depicted what a healthy river means to them. View the top ten entries.