June 10, 2016
Students from Mt. Carmel School in Asbury Park recently journeyed to see live children’s theater and enjoy outdoor adventures at an oceanfront park.
The excitement had built from the moment the first, second, and third grade students learned that they would be going on a spring field trip. On May 18th, 63 students enjoyed a bus ride (for some, one of the few buses they’ve been on) to Monmouth University’s Pollack Theater to see a presentation of “Curious George and the Golden Meatball.”
Adding to the excitement was the news that the students would also have a picnic lunch at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park and time to play on the park’s award-winning playground.
Staff and organizers took note of many memorable moments from the field trip. The theater performance was enjoyed by all, the weather was picture perfect, and the playground was impressive. But some moments really stood out:
Jeffrey, a first grader described as quiet and serious by his teacher, came to life during the theater performance. Though he is rarely expressive at school, he giggled through the whole show, reacting with joy to the performers and the music. Was it the curious monkey that made him laugh? The outrageous Italian accent of the chef? The silly songs? It didn’t matter—for his teacher, she was thrilled to see him react this way and knew that she could connect to him after the show by recalling moments from the performance.
- For the third graders, some of whom had attended performances in years past, they were now able to take in their surroundings, taking note of the shape of the theater’s ceiling (“kind of like a spaceship”), as well as the action in the sound and lighting booth, and the people moving around behind the curtains. “Are those real jobs?” Yes! After the show, these same third graders were able to relate to the messages in the show: the importance of friendship and putting love into everything you do. The art appreciation continued even after the performance ended, when several students pointed out a sculpture outside the theater that “looks like the Golden Meatball!”
- For students who attend a school without a playground, the award-winning Tony’s Place Playground at Seven Presidents Park was beyond exciting. Lunch outside? Yes! A view of the Atlantic Ocean? Yes! Free time on a colorful playground designed for this age? Yes! No wonder a teacher heard a student shout, “This is the best day ever!” as he ran over to play with this friends on one of the creative structures designed for creativity and imagination.
Teachers had prepared the students for the field trip by reading Curious George books and helping the students use their imaginations to wonder where he might be going during his next adventure in the play.
After the show, the teachers continued to read books and discuss the themes within.
Students were also introduced to the Curious George website on their iPads, which they are able to explore during their technology time in school.
Teachers also spent time in the classroom talking to the students about the history of Seven Presidents Park.
The visit to Monmouth University’s Pollack Theater and Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park was made possible with a grant from Field Trip New Jersey, an endowment launched by the Community Foundation of New Jersey and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to take students into new places that have the power to awaken, hush, awe, enrich, or otherwise positively change their lives.
To learn more about Field Trip New Jersey, please visit www.fieldtripnj.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate toward future field trips, please click below.