Park Aids Area Schools
May 30, 2002
Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130
For the 16th consecutive year, rangers at Wind Cave National Park assisted area schools with their curriculum needs. This program, developed in cooperation with local educators, strives to relate students to broad concepts found in natural and physical science, history, language arts, and mathematics. Conducted annually from mid-April to mid-May, this year’s program saw 732 students visit the park.
This curriculum based program, designed for kindergarten through eight grade, begins with a pre-visit packet mailed to the school which serves to introduce students to the concepts to be studied. Schools then visit the park, spending several hours exploring the prairie or the cave learning about topics such as adaptations in nature. After returning to their classrooms, they later complete a post-visit lesson plan. Each grade level address different areas, allowing returning students to continually experience new material.
This year, with assistance from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Kodak, a Proud Partner of America's National Parks, children were given cameras to record their activities. These pictures were later made available to the student, allowing parents and friends to follow their activities.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.