START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
745,543 people care about Education

Third Graders Explore! Learn! Sing! As They Visit Yosemite National Park

Third Graders Explore! Learn! Sing! As They Visit Yosemite National Park

It’s a perfect Earth Day story!

Earlier this week, 30 third graders from Anna Yates Elementary School in Emeryville, CA, visited Yosemite National Park through NatureBridge’s Yosemite Institute.

Diverse Third Graders Leave The City For The Mountains!

What’s so special about that? First, although Yosemite is relatively close (a four-hour drive), most of these students had never hiked outside before, let alone visited a National Park.

Second, these youngsters are from a school where 56% of the students are African-American, 16% Hispanic, 9% Asian-American – in short, a very diverse school. And our National Parks have never seen such diversity. According to a study of visitors to Yosemite published in a 2009 New York Times article, only 1% of park visitors are black, while 77% are white.

Meet Shelton Johnson, Yosemite’s Pioneering African-American Ranger

And these children had a blast! They learned about lichen and moss on trees, sniffed bark, turned over rocks to examine what lay underneath, went for hikes, and finally sat in umachas, traditional bark houses, as they reflected on their visit and wrote in their field journals all the things they learnt with NatureBridge.

The highlight of their trip was a visit to Yosemite Falls, the majestic 2,425-foot tall waterfall, and the chance to meet Ranger Shelton Johnson, Yosemite’s pioneering African-American park ranger. To the delight of the students, Ranger Johnson donned his uniform of a Buffalo soldier, the African-American regiment of the segregated U.S. Army who patrolled Yosemite in the early 1900′s.

NatureBridge Connects Children With Nature

All of this was thanks to NatureBridge, which was founded in 1971, and is the largest residential education partner of the National Park Service. With the mission of inspiring personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it, they serve more than 40,000 youth from diverse backgrounds every year through field science, youth leadership, and teacher training programs.

How did the kids respond? Asked what she felt about the whole trip, third grader Malinalli Cervantes was clear: “We got to see great things that a lot of people want to see, and be in a peaceful place, and have a great adventure.”

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

 

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: NatureBridge

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

24 comments

+ add your own
8:00PM PDT on May 4, 2011

Awesome. I think more kids should be taken to parks as part of their educational experience!

10:58AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

I love that Care@ included this article. I work for NatureBridge and follow Care2 issues often. Thank you for including this amazing article on your website!

5:54PM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

What a wonderful opportunity Nature Bridge gave to all these children. Something they will never forget and bringing them closer to nature. They are our future and the more they learn about Mother Earth, the better it will be for them.
Great post Judy.

1:04PM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

What a great story!

9:42AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

thanks for the post.

4:17AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Awesome, thank you.

9:02PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Connect with Mother Nature before we destroy our planet...

7:33PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

This is really good work. City people are often totally divorced from nature with serious consequences for the environment that then rebound to them. This kind of experience can kindle a love of nature that may result in better decisions about caring for the environment.

5:54PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

great story! I wish and hope that all children could have these memories so that maybe they will work for others to create future memories and in turn help preserve our home, earth!

Growing up I was blessed to visit Yosemite as I lived in California, now I live in MN and although we have nice places to visit there is something special about the mountains of Yosemite for me -- we have been fortunate to take our children to to several national parks and hope for more in the future.

consider a train trip to visit glacier, rocky mt or one of the other parks -- it will create great memories.

4:30PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Yes, indeed! Young kids need to spend more time outdoors. They also need to interact with pets (their own or therapy pets). Also, they need more free time in the school day; too much structure is stifling creativity.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

Destroying mountains for an obsolete fuel is not something for which our descendants -- even those whose…

Adore pelicans! In fact my home is called Pelican Cottage. Was so wonderful watching them come back…

meet our writers

Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.