WASHINGTON, DC (June 2, 2010) – As students across the country begin their summer vacations, 20 teachers from across the nation are heading into their local national parks for immersive learning experiences that they will turn into service-based educational programs for their students next fall. It’s all part of the National Park Foundation’s Park Stewards program, which helps build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for national parks among high school students.
“The Park Stewards program creates a ripple effect as each teacher becomes a conduit for bringing classrooms of students into their parks year after year,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “This program is an introduction for many students to their parks, and the service learning that they do can spark a connection to the parks that will last a lifetime.”
Teachers begin their summer sessions by familiarizing themselves with their local national park, its resources, and responsibilities of the park staff. Together, teachers and staff then work to develop service learning activities for their high school students that advance the park’s mission, yet are broad enough to be applicable to local, state, and national education standards. Through the service learning activities the students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills, in addition to physical skills as appropriate, to address genuine needs of the park.
A complete listing of national parks participating in the 2010 Park Stewards program is available here.
The Park Stewards Program is made possible with generous support from Bank of America and other private donors to the National Park Foundation.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us – This is Your Land. www.nationalparks.org