YOSEMITE – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, third grade students at Oakhurst Elementary School (OES) have been invited to participate in Yosemite National Park’s “Class Act of 2016” project for the next three years.
Every national park has adopted a class of 2016 elementary school graduates and has developed a series of fun, educational and engaging activities for our students.
Oakhurst Elementary is one of only five Gateway Schools invited to participate. Yosemite’s “A Class Act of 2016” project has OES working in concert with Yosemite National Park (YNP) in order for our students to create lasting connections to the legacy of public land.
Specifically, Yosemite’s Class of 2016 programs will reach across learning disciplines from science to art, linking outdoor experiences to environmental education and stewardship.
Each aspect of program delivery will focus on best practices, long-term connections and the best possible level of services with all the partnerships.
In conjunction with Yosemite National Park, OES will also be partnering with nonprofit educational organization Nature Bridge. Programs for the students include a classroom visit, field-based activities and an all-day field trip to Mariposa Grove inside YNP. Additionally, students will participate in distance learning, special projects and long-term learning activities.
During their recent visit to Mariposa Grove, OES students were grouped and assigned a Nature Bridge naturalist. Together they spent the entire day hiking under the giant sequoias, journaling about their surroundings, having lunch, and learning what it takes to be a student ambassador for Yosemite National Park.
The first year of the “Class Act of 2016” program, 2014, celebrates the Yosemite Grant and Wilderness Act. The second year celebrates Yosemite’s designation as a National Park; and the third year celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park with a Centennial Youth Symposium.
Kathleen Murphy is the Principal at Oakhurst Elementary School