Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has been selected as one of 49 national parks participating in the 2012 America’s Best Idea program sponsored by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Inspired by the critically- acclaimed Ken Burns documentary – The National Parks: America’s Best Idea – the America’s Best Idea grant program funds park projects designed to connect diverse, under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park received this award for the Environmental Education Academy for APS students. This innovative program, now in its second year, will serve up to 100 at-risk children entering ninth grade at four APS high schools.
The students will visit the park for an immersive experience that enhances math, science, and literacy skills, as well as builds confidence to make the transition to high school and successfully complete ninth grade. The program includes a two-week summer session (June 18-22 and June 25-29, 2012) and three return trips to the park during the 2012-13 school year for additional activities. Students who successfully complete the program will earn .5 academic credit for their high school transcripts, and up to 10 students will be hired as Junior Counselors for the 2013 summer program. The Environmental Education Academy also introduces CVNP to students who may never have experienced a national park.