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Responding to an overwhelming demand to serve K-12 student audiences, the C&O Canal Trust, the official nonprofit partner of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, made a $17,000 donation on March 15, 2013, to support the development of a park-wide, curriculum-based education program. The donation was raised by the C&O Canal Trust last October through their efforts at Park After Dark, their annual benefit event in support of programs and projects at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
The donation comes at a critical time for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park when lean budgets have reduced the park's seasonal staff to deliver education programs during the spring and fall seasons. With support from the C&O Canal Trust, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will utilize the funds to explore staffing solutions, develop a transportation scholarship program to provide underserved student audiences with a stipend to pay for buses, and identify additional program funding through grants opportunities.
"The Trust's support will help us develop a sustainable education program, creating opportunities for more students to use the national park as their classroom, exploring natural and historical resources in a setting that provokes thought, inspires wonder and ignites understanding" stated Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt.
Spanning across the state of Maryland and bordering the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is estimated to have nearly 1,000,000 school aged children within a 45-minute drive. Last year the Park hosted over ten thousand school aged children for education programs during the 2011-12 school year. A large number of schools were classified as underserved and represent both urban and rural environments from Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The C&O Canal Trust's donation will expand opportunities for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park to connect with thousands of students across grade levels, content areas and school districts.
For more information about the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park's official partner, the C&O Canal Trust and ways to support educational programming, go towww.CanalTrust.org.