PHOENIX and WASHINGTON, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America's national parks, and University of Phoenix® announced the 2013 Park Stewards program grant recipients. Now in their second year of program sponsorship, the University provided $187,000 in program funding to the National Park Foundation to help high school teachers and their students across the country build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for their national parks through curriculum and service learning projects.
"This innovative program provides critical support and access to teachers so that parks nationwide can be utilized as the living classrooms they are," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Through this unique collaboration, and subsequent development of rich, relevant curriculum, the Park Stewards teachers create a life-long connection to America's national parks for their students."
"Whether through school fieldtrips to parks, virtual visits or curricula developed in parks, national parks are natural learning environments," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Students benefit when we connect them to parks and these teachers will help them become better stewards of our national parks."
Since 2009, the Park Stewards program has made it possible for 88 high school teachers to work in parks over the summer break, creating curriculum that will then be taught to their students in the coming school year. During the summer, the teachers and park staff also develop service-learning projects that will be implemented by high school students throughout the course of the school year. The projects which include monitoring toxic mercury levels, grazing patterns of bison and cattle, soil and water quality or mammal populations, tie to state academic standards and are meaningful to the national parks. The 2013 Park Stewards program will also select one student from each grantee school team for a summer internship to help support and build their interest in their national parks and the National Park Service.
"University of Phoenix is proud to once again support the National Park Foundation's mission to enrich America's national parks and programs by inspiring generations of national park enthusiasts," said Pat Gottfried, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Apollo Group, parent company of University of Phoenix. "University of Phoenix is committed to environmental stewardship in our operations, our sustainability-related degree programs and our environmental philanthropy, and we are glad to help reinforce this commitment through our support of the National Park Foundation and the teachers and students it impacts."
The 2013 Park Stewards grantees include:
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Assateague Island National Seashore
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Badlands National Park
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Catoctin Mountain Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Natchez Trace Parkway
National Mall and Memorial Parks
River Raisin National Battlefield Park
Saguaro National Park
San Juan Island National Historical Park
San Juan National Historic Site
For more information about the participating parks, please visit the National Park Foundation website. For more information on the work of the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America's national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org.
Apollo Group, parent company of University of Phoenix, is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen by serving communities and individuals across the country. Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, Apollo Group focuses on giving in the areas of education, workforce readiness and sustainability. To learn more about the impact of these efforts, please visit www.csrreport.s.apollo.edu/.
About the National Park Foundation
You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world's most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America's more than 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 connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land. www.nationalparks.org
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.phoenix.edu.
SOURCE University of Phoenix