A Carousel Ride Through History at the National Mall

NPF's Park Stewards program brought students to Washington, D.C., for a National Mall visit to learn about the historic carousel.

As part of the Park Stewards program, students had an amazing first visit to the National Mall and Memorial Parks, where they rode and learned about the Smithsonian carousel.

Originally at a private, segregated park in Maryland, several years of protests resulted in opening the park to all visitors on August 23, 1963, the same day as the original March on Washington. During the visit, the kids also met a woman who had been at the carousel the day it opened to everyone over 50 years ago. Teachers shared how helpful the park was in designing and tailoring the visit to benefit the children.

Students who visited the park also stirred interest among their classmates as they promoted parks in their school community. For example, the program participants completed service-learning projects, which involved creating scavenger hunts for the park with four different themes around race, gender or ethnicity.