Preserving the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial project engaged American government students in refurbishing park grounds, and taught civic engagement lessons.

Building on the success of previous year, this project offered week-long day camps at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site for youth with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Three partner organizations helped implement sensory activities designed to facilitate communication and social skills.

Additionally, this project engaged four classes of American Government students (60 students total) in researching and documenting the role communities play in the preservation of national parks, as this park was in the process of revitalizing its grounds and exhibits. The students' service project gave them a real-world experience that connected to their curriculum as they had the chance to be civically engaged with the national park.

Students learned how to inform the public about this process through research, tracking, and evaluation. Students also worked with park personnel to understand the planning process and involvement of private and nonprofit organizations.