March 9, 2016
The Community Foundation of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation are announcing today that their pilot program, Field Trip New Jersey, has awarded more than $45,000 in grants to schools supporting educational field trips.
The 83 grants will make it possible for thousands of students in under-served communities this school year to visit arts and culture sites, historic landmarks, nature preserves, and science institutions in New Jersey, as well as college campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to award these grants to help bring learning to life,” said Chris Daggett, president of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. “Field trips add a whole new dimension, making learning fun while also deepening students’ educational experience. All of our students deserve these opportunities.”
Field Trip New Jersey grants will enable students to visit Liberty Science Center’s Life Skills exhibit, take part in a SLAM poetry competition at William Paterson University, and learn about tolerance, diversity and bullying prevention at the Youth Tolerance Museum in Camden, among other trips.
Schools received grants of up to $700 to cover field trip transportation costs. The schools serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and have at least 65 percent of their student population eligible for free and reduced lunches under the National School Lunch Program.
Field Trip New Jersey was launched in January with seed funding from the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and New Jersey Historical Commission. The announcement generated more than 150 applications, proving the tremendous need for this type of funding, according to Hans Dekker, president of the Community Foundation, which hosts the fund.
“For our first round of grants, we were blown away by the response,” Dekker said. “With the costs associated with field trips becoming increasingly hard to come by, there’s a need to fill the gap. We want to continue providing this fund, but we need your help and invite anyone with a fond field trip memory or a love of learning to show their support.”
The Community Foundation of New Jersey and Dodge are aiming to raise an endowed, dedicated fund of $2 million to continue to offer grants through Field Trip New Jersey. Dekker and Daggett invite all who share a commitment to experiential learning to support the fund to ensure even more students, no matter their circumstances, can benefit from the power of field trips.