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Contact: Kathy Krause, 631-687-4772
Contact: Elizabeth Rogers, 631-687-4766
Patchogue, NY – Fire Island National Seashore was one of 186 federal sites selected to receive a 2015 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks. The grant will make it possible for all 120 fourth graders from the William Floyd Elementary School in Mastic Beach to visit Fire Island and the William Floyd Estate in 2016.
"Fire Island National Seashore is an educational resource for Long Island schools," said Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller, "and is one of more than 400 national parks providing opportunities for exploration and inspiration across the country." This program is part of President Obama's Every Kid in a Park initiative which aims to connect fourth graders and their families with public lands and waters. Over the course of 2016, the National Park Service's Centennial year, the entire fourth grade class from William Floyd Elementary School will experience three diverse Seashore sites first-hand.
Park rangers will introduce fourth graders to the Seashore during a February classroom visit. Students will then participate in park- and partner- led programming at the park to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for the natural systems and compelling history protected and preserved at Seashore sites. Lessons and engaging activities aligned to fourth grade learning standards will explore maritime history at the Fire Island Lighthouse;barrier island habitats, plants, and wildlife in Fire Island's globally rare Sunken Forest;and over 250 years of societal change at the William Floyd Estate, home of one of four New York signers of the Declaration of Independence. "The goal is for these students to build a lasting connection to the natural and cultural treasures protected at national park sites right in their backyard," said Soller.
The Seashore will also be partnering with other NPF grantees –Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City and Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut –throughout the year to connect young students from the greater metropolitan area and park gateway communities to Seashore sites. For the full list of grantees, and their projects, visit www.nationalparks.org/everykidinapark.