Malabar Intermediate School’s fourth-graders will answer the call of the wild next week when they visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Akron.
Ten classes totaling approximately 210 students will participate. Their field trip will be paid for by a grant from the Every Kid in a Park initiative sponsored by the National Park Foundation. Four fourth-grade classes will travel to the park on Monday, four more on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.
Stephanie Uhde, who teaches social studies and language arts, got the ball rolling for the fourth-graders’ trip after she visited the park. She credits Angela McGrady, office manager for the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, with expediting the arrangements. “There are two main reasons for our visit,” Uhde said. “One is to get the kids outdoors to experience the beauty of the park. The other is that the lessons they will have while there connect to our (academic) core subjects.”
“Rockin’ at the Run,” which complements earth sciences study, is an overview of the unique geologic story of the Cuyahoga Valley, including a hike. History and geography will be part of “Ways of the Whittlesey,” which focuses on the culture of that tribe and other American Indians who once inhabited the area. Students will have classroom activities about their visit when they return.
National Park Service rangers Emily Garrison and Josh Angelini visited each of the fourth-grade classrooms on Friday to discuss the park and next week’s visits. They also talked to students about other National Park sites around Ohio, including the homes of presidents James Garfield and William Howard Taft and Dayton Aviation Heritage, which chronicles the work of the Wright Brothers.
Garrison and Angelini also gave each student a year-long pass to national park sites. The Every Kid in a Park program distributes free passes to fourth-graders across the country.
“Normally this pass would cost $80,” Garrison told students in Beth Steiner’s classroom. “But you are getting it for free. You and your family will be admitted free to any national park site during the school year or next summer.”
Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along 22 miles of the Cuyahoga River.
Source: Mansfield City Schools; Photo: Creative Commons License