National Park Foundation Provides Grants to Support National Park Service Education Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

32 Parks Obtain Funding to Pilot Hybrid Studying with College students 

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2021) — College students nationwide will be capable to expertise nationwide parks in new and thrilling methods, due to the Nationwide Park Basis’s (NPF) Open OutDoors for Children Hybrid Studying grant program. NPF is awarding grants to 32 Nationwide Park Service (NPS) websites and their companions to implement or improve modern distance studying packages to higher serve educators and college students, particularly in under-resourced communities. 

“Nationwide parks are America’s largest school rooms, and the Nationwide Park Basis is dedicated to serving to college students, lecturers, and households navigate studying through the pandemic and past,” stated Nationwide Park Basis President and CEO Will Shafroth. “From inexperienced time to display screen time to household time, the Nationwide Park Basis helps the Nationwide Park Service and parks group interact college students with academic alternatives throughout the nation.”  

With greater than 400 parks throughout all fifty states and the U.S. territories, the NPS historically hosts greater than 60,000 in-park and distance studying education schemes yearly, serving over 1.eight million college students.  

“The standard class journey to a nationwide park has been impacted by the pandemic and the Nationwide Park Service is pivoting its method to interact college students with curriculum-based studying utilizing new and modern strategies,” stated Nationwide Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “We’re grateful to the Nationwide Park Basis for his or her help to deal with the challenges of this second in ways in which may also serve educators and college students in years to return.” 

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how and the place college students are studying, NPF collaborated with the NPS to facilitate a program design workshop in September 2020 with main consultants in analysis, digital programming, group engagement, and nationwide park management. The aim being to advise on how NPF and NPS can meet the wants of scholars, lecturers, colleges, and communities throughout these unsure occasions and the way classes realized could be utilized within the long-term. The workshop led to the Open OutDoors for Children Hybrid Studying program, an extension of NPF’s Open OutDoors for Children Discipline Journey program.  

Hybrid design and a holistic method to distance studying, which incorporates non-internet and internet-based components, are among the many most crucial points of this system. Instruments and program design developed through the previous yr will proceed past the pandemic. 

At Massive Gap Nationwide Battlefield in Montana, park employees will collaborate with the Colville, Nez Perce, and Umatilla tribes to share extra expansive tales by means of distance studying actions, together with pre-recorded digital excursions and shows by cultural demonstrators that stretch engagement with close by communities. 

“Massive Gap Nationwide Battlefield is keen to supply college students, regardless of their location, with a digital area to study concerning the historical past of such a culturally important website,” stated appearing Park Superintendent Ashley Adams. “The grant from Nationwide Park Basis reinforces the park’s dedication to high quality schooling programming and collaboration with companions.” 

In Florida, Castillo de San Marcos Nationwide Monument and the Florida College for the Deaf and Blind are co-creating curriculum-based 3D merchandise that may complement a sequence of lesson plans, ranger movies, and hands-on actions that digitally convey components of place-based studying to college students. 

At Belmont-Paul Girls’s Equality Nationwide Monument in Washington, D.C., Educating Onerous Historical past consultants will interact college students with extra expansive tales by means of the park’s collections, together with the experiences and contributions of Black girls who fought for the suitable to vote and continued the wrestle for civil rights and full equality.  

In California, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nationwide Parks schooling workforce engages kindergarteners by means of eighth graders with digital curriculum-based packages that introduce college students to nationwide parks, train them about bears and bats, and provide alternatives to study concerning the Kaweah and Kings Rivers watershed.  

New Orleans Jazz Nationwide Historic Park in Louisiana will accomplice with the New Orleans Jazz Museum to reinforce their present area journey packages that join youth in modern methods to the town’s musical tradition and the foundations of American jazz.  

For a full record of grantees and initiatives, go to NPF’s web site.

“The aim of the Open OutDoors for Children Hybrid Studying program is to help parks alongside a spectrum of capabilities, from parks which can be model new to distance studying to these looking for to scale-up present hybrid programming,” stated Nationwide Park Basis Chief Program Officer LaTresse Snead. “As a crucial piece of this system, guiding ideas that assist advance fairness have been recognized.”  

The Open OutDoors for Children Hybrid Studying grant program helps 4 guiding ideas: Adaptation, Inclusion, Co-creation, and Shared Studying. 

  • Adaptation encourages parks to pilot, check, and implement hybrid studying modules.  
  • Inclusion facilities on creating area for all and guaranteeing that each one college students see themselves in parks.  
  • Co-creation incorporates instructor engagement with parks from the begin to meet their wants on this second.  
  • Shared studying embraces using completely different methods to develop and doc profitable fashions developed on this pilot initiative. 

Thanks to personal philanthropy, together with help for Open OutDoors for Children from Union Pacific Railroad, a premier accomplice of NPF’s Youth Training and Engagement initiative; Winnebago Industries Basis; Niantic; Sierra; Columbia Sportswear; Parks Undertaking; The Batchelor Basis, Inc.; Humana; and lots of particular person donors, NPF is investing practically $1 million within the Open OutDoors for Children Hybrid Studying program supporting communities throughout the nation through the 2020-2021 faculty yr.  

Since 2011, NPF has engaged multiple million college students in academic packages connecting them with nationwide parks throughout the nation. Earlier this yr, NPF introduced its aim to attach one other a million college students to parks over the subsequent 4 years.  

People, foundations, and corporations can help NPF’s efforts to interact extra college students with nationwide parks as school rooms by visiting the NPF web site. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

The Nationwide Park Basis works to guard wildlife and park lands, protect historical past and tradition, educate and have interaction youth, and join individuals in every single place to the marvel of parks. We do it in collaboration with the Nationwide Park Service, the park accomplice group, and with the beneficiant help of donors, with out whom our work wouldn’t be attainable. Study extra at nationalparks.org.

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