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Field Trip New Jersey Now Accepting Applications

A student holds killifish and croaker caught on an excursion with Natural Lands Trust. Courtesy of the Natural Lands Trust.
A student holds killifish and croaker caught on an excursion with Natural Lands Trust. Courtesy of the Natural Lands Trust.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation are working to make it easier for schools to take students on field trips. A new fund to support opportunities for students in underserved communities to connect classroom learning with real-life experiences called Field Trip New Jersey is now accepting applications.

Educators at schools where 65 percent of students or more are eligible for free and reduced lunches under the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply for grants of up to $700 to cover transportation costs for field trips to arts and cultural sites, historic landmarks, nature preserves, and science institutions in New Jersey, as well as college campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Schools may apply now through Feb. 19 for field trips that will take place between March 15 through the summer of 2016. Schools will be notified of the grant winners by March 9.

“When you think back on your school years, you may not remember every lesson you learned sitting at your desk, but you do remember the field trips you took and how they changed your life,” said Chris Daggett, president and CEO of the Dodge Foundation. “At a time when schools are facing budget cuts and other pressures, field trips are often the first to go. We can’t let our students miss out on these opportunities.”

Field Trip New Jersey is administered through the Community Foundation of New Jersey, which partnered with Dodge to commit $25,000 to launch the pilot program. With an additional $15,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the goal is to support more than 50 field trips at schools throughout New Jersey for the first round of funding.

“We know that field trips measurably improve the education experience and can have lasting impact,” said Hans Dekker, president of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. “By working together, we can now ensure more of New Jersey’s young people are not only exposed to arts and culture, science and nature, and higher education, but also able to imagine a brighter future for themselves.”

Maximum grants are $700 and may be used for transportation expenses only. Schools may only apply for one field trip per school year. Schools will be reimbursed upon receipt of invoices.

Grants will be distributed to eligible New Jersey schools to support a wide range of trips. The funders are interested in having students visit diverse institutions that offer different kinds of experiences.

Schools may apply for funds to transport students on college tours in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland.

field trip njFor applications and more details on Field Trip New Jersey, visit fieldtripnj.org or email info@fieldtripnj.org. Follow Field Trip New Jersey on Facebook @FieldTripNJ on Twitter for news and updates.

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Written by Krystal Knapp