ECMA 2014/2015 School Field Trip Progran Update

The ECMA Student Field Trip Program has been indefinitely suspended due to lack of community grant match support. In the 2013-14 academic school year, the ECMA administered 161 field trips serving a total of 9,556 students, teachers and parents. These students collectively recorded a 33.24% improvement score from their pre-trip quiz to their post-trip quiz, representing a strong correlation between retention of new information and the validity of in-the-field, experiential learning. This program supported 15 museums and interpretive sites in Elkhart County with a total admissions distribution of $48,440. In addition, the program paid a total of $19,610 in transportation stipends to schools (public, private and home school) to cover the schools’ internal costs of sending students on these field trips. All constituents involved with this program (financial supporters, museum staff, school administrators, teachers, parents and students) are in agreement that the program was efficiently delivered through an online reservation system administered by a highly qualified and enthusiastic part-time Field Trip Coordinator, Carolyn Bonanno.
The 2013-14 ECMA Student Field Trip Program was generously supported by the Elkhart County Community Foundation with a lead grant of $75,000. In addition, a combined total of $13,715 in grant match support came from the following: Inova FCU, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, KeyBank, Corson Family Foundation, Interra FCU, Elkhart Rotary Club, Elkhart Kiwanis Club, 1st Source Bank, Old National Bank, First State Bank, Concord Rotary Club, Vince and Patricia Turner, and Elkhart Noon Optimist Club. The ECMA wishes to express its gratitude to the Elkhart County Community Foundation and the grant match supporters listed above for sharing the ECMA vision of implementing student field trips as a regular part of the school teaching curriculum.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of overall community matching support the ECMA Student Field Trip Program is being indefinitely suspended. The ECMA seeks additional community partners who might be willing to step forward to assist in resuming this program in the future at a level that will be both cost effective and beneficial to the students and schools of Elkhart County. ECMA continues to support the value of student field trips by maintaining the web site as a clearinghouse of information for school administrators, teachers, parents and students. The website offers specific learning objectives pertaining to the educational experiences offered through the museums and interpretive sites of Elkhart County. All ECMA sites continue to offer public and student field trips, however, as long as this program remains suspended, NO FIELD TRIP RESERVATIONS will be made through the ECMA web site. Teachers and parents are encouraged to directly contact the ECMA member sites to develop creative ways that will continue to bring students out of the classroom and learn through field trips.

Bill Firstenberger, President, ECMA

302 East Beardsley
Elkhart, IN. 46514

Phone: 574-264-0330
ext. 102

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