Morristown, NJ – As area students begin their summer vacations, Laurie Johnson of Phillipsburg High School is heading to Morristown National Historical Park (NHP) to plan immersive learning experiences that the park will turn into service-based educational programs for students next fall. It’s all part of the National Park Foundation’s Park Stewards program,which helps build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for nationalparks among high school students.
"This program is important to us because it will allow us to expand our Primary Source Seminar, which utilizes the park’s extensive archival collections, to benefit the students and the park as well" said Dr. Jude Pfister, Chief of Cultural Resources at Morristown NHP. "With Ms. Johnson’s expertise, we will develop new Primary Source Seminar lesson plans and web activities, and initiate our Archival Ambassadors Program." said Sarah Minegar, Archives Technician and Museum Educator.
"The Park Stewards program creates a ripple effect as each teacher becomes a conduit for bringing classrooms of students into their parks year after year," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "This program is an introduction for many students to their parks, and the service learning that they do can spark a connection to the parks that will last a lifetime."
Teachers begin their summer sessions by familiarizing themselves with their local national park, its resources, and responsibilities of the park staff. Together, teachers and staff then work to develop service learning activities for their high school students that advance the park’s mission, yet are broad enough to be applicable to local, state, and national education standards. Through the service learning activities the students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills, in addition to physical skills as appropriate, to address genuine needs of the park.
A complete listing of national parks participating in the 2010 Park Stewards program is available at http://www.nationalparks.org/npf-at-work/our-programs/stewards/ .
The Park Stewards Program is made possible with generous support from Bank of America and other private donors to the National Park Foundation.
About Morristown National Historical Park
During two critical winters of the Revolutionary War, 1777 and 1779–80, the countryside in and around Morristown, New Jersey, sheltered the main encampments of the American Continental Army and served as the headquarters of its commander-in-chief, General George Washington. The National Park Service at Morristown National Historical Park preserves sites in the Morristown area occupied by the Continental Army and interprets the history and subsequent commemoration of these encampments and the extraordinary fortitude of the officers and enlisted men under Washington’s leadership.
Additionally, the park maintains and extensive library and archival collection which is utilized for the Primary Source Seminar and this collection will form the basis of the "Archival Ambassador" program which the National Park Foundation grant will fund.
About the National Park Foundation
You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks.
We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us – This is Your Land.
Morristown NHP on the web: