04/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/22/2021 14:38
THE FOUNDATION HELPS ROSIE THE RIVETER WWII HOME FRONT NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK MEET EDUCATION NEEDS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND BEYOND
Richmond, CA (April 22, 2021) Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, and park partner Rosie the Riveter Trust, are among the 32 parks and park partners to receive an Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), which works in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and the park partner community to ensure that national parks reach their fullest potential and connect with as many people as possible. This grant will enable Park staff to work with the Rosie the Riveter Trust to teach 4th graders how to actively recover WWII Home Front history, as well as their own family heritage, through the creation of oral histories with those who lived the experience. The full list of grantees can be found on NPF's website.
'The very diverse group of 4th graders are so energized by this project! They are interviewing elder family members all over the world - a grandmother in Ghana, a coalminer grandfather in PA, and relatives in Mexico, among other places - to create oral histories and preserve their family heritage,' said Supervisory Park Ranger Kathryn Daskal. With more than 400 parks across all fifty states and the U.S. territories, the NPS traditionally hosts more than 60,000 in-park and distance learning education programs annually, serving over 1.8 million students. Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how and where students are learning, NPF collaborated with the NPS to facilitate a program design workshop in September 2020 with leading experts in evaluation, digital programming, community engagement, and national park leadership. The goal being to advise on how NPF and NPS can meet the needs of students, teachers, schools, and communities during these uncertain times and how lessons learned can be applied in the long-term. The workshop led to the Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning program, an extension of NPF's Open OutDoors for Kids Field Trip program. 'National parks are America's largest classrooms, and the National Park Foundation is committed to helping students, teachers, and families navigate learning during the pandemic and beyond,' said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. 'From green time to screen time to family time, the National Park Foundation is helping the National Park Service and parks community engage students with educational opportunities across the country.' With support from the NPF, our grant project - 'We Can Do It! Capturing History Before it is Gone, From Those Who Lived It' - aims to foster in students a genuine interest in history - not through books, but through primary sources - and to encourage social/emotional learning through the interview process: communication and listening skills, compassion, empathy, and connection to an older generation. The program provides a vital opportunity for students to engage in the real-life challenges and rewards of interpersonal communication, intergenerational understanding and meaningful connections, and to learn more about themselves through the stories of their elders. With the isolation and stress that many families have experienced due to Covid mitigation measures, it couldn't be more timely right now for kids to reach out to elderly members of their family or community, who are perhaps in greater need than ever for connection. Since 2011, NPF has engaged more than one million students in educational programs connecting them with national parks across the country. Earlier this year, NPF announced its goal to connect another one million students to parks over the next four years. Thanks to private philanthropy, including support for Open OutDoors for Kids from Union Pacific Railroad, a premier partner of NPF's Youth Education and Engagement initiative; Winnebago Industries Foundation; Niantic; Sierra; Columbia Sportswear; Parks Project; The Batchelor Foundation, Inc.; Humana; and many individual donors, NPF is investing nearly $1 million in the Open OutDoors for Kids Hybrid Learning program supporting communities across the country during the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more about NPF's efforts to engage students with national parks as classrooms. Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA is the flagship National Park Service site selected to tell the story of Rosie the Riveter and WWII Home Front workers of all kinds. This unique park chronicles the explosive growth of wartime industry, the innovations fostered by visionaries like Henry J. Kaiser, and the extraordinary history of ordinary people who were challenged as never before and came together to overcome wartime odds. ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community, and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at www.nationalparks.org.