Kids Discover the Trail! Ithaca Celebrates a Decade of Discovery
Kids Discover the Trail! (KDT!) Ithaca is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015! It inspires students to become more engaged in their learning by providing field trips with educational programming with the eight world-class Discovery Trail organizations. In addition to field trips, KDT! features classroom activities, social interaction, and a special book for each student, which builds on the field trip experience. KDT! creates equal access for all students and teachers to the Discovery Trail. KDT! also attracts families to the Discovery Trail as students bring their families to see what they experienced.
"Reflecting on the first ten years of Kids Discover the Trail!, I am so proud of this collaborative effort and the participation of over 25,000 students since it began", says Don Rakow, former director of the Cornell Plantations. "The KDT! model successfully provides students and teachers with meaningful, hands-on experiences that support classroom learning and engage students' imaginations."
Ten stories were published from September 2014-June 2015 in Tompkins Weekly newspaper increase visibility of all aspects of KDT! Ithaca.
KDT! Turns Ten: A Decade of Discovery Part 1, Tompkins Weekly, Sept. 15, 2014
KDT! Books Enhance Student Experiences with Discovery Trail, Tompkins Weekly, Oct. 13, 2014, p.4
'Buddies' Are Brought Together by KDT, Tompkins Weekly, Nov. 17, 2014, p.4
Donors Make KDT Programs Possible, Tompkins Weekly, Dec. 15, 2014, p.3
Discovery Trail Recognizes Value of KDT, Tompkins Weekly, Jan. 12, 2015,p.3
Educators, Teachers Connect with KDT, Tompkins Weekly, Feb. 9, 2015, p.8
Transportation Plays Key Role in KDT, Tompkins Weekly, Mar. 9, 2015, p.9
Parents Recognize the Benefits of KDT, Tompkins Weekly, Apr. 13, 2015, p.8
Technology Tools Extend KDT Learning, Tompkins Weekly, May 11, 2015, p.3
Kids Discover the Trail! website
"I am grateful to work in a place where this is an opportunity for every child who goes to school. It is a very unique way to provide experiences for children in a consistent and interesting way. Because of the nature of the structure, children can remember together, anticipate together, and hopefully include families in their excitement about the trips."
ICSD Elementary School Teacher
"Each Discovery Trail site is rich in experience and learning opportunities, and it would be a mistake to not share these gems with our schoolchildren."
Parent of ICSD Elementary School Student
Here's How Kids Discover the Trail!
Elementary grades are linked with Discovery Trail organizations. Individual classrooms from different schools visit in pairs and share the day at the site. Most also have shared activities before and after the visits. Curriculum is aligned with current state standards.
Books are provided to all students at all grade levels each year to encourage literacy and complement the KDT! curriculum. Books also help connect families with KDT! program goals since they are given to students to take home.
Take-home materials including free admission passes encourage families to visit. This program seeks to increase use of all Discovery Trail sites by expanding public awareness of their resources.
Each year pairs of classrooms from different Ithaca schools are linked, and most visit their Discovery Trail sites together. Fifth graders have two opportunities to share academic experiences with their peers as they prepare for the transition to middle school.
Classroom pairs are encouraged to make additional plans together to give students more chances to develop relationships with their â€œbuddiesâ€. Some visit a Discovery Trail site, or each otherâ€™s school or school neighborhood, or another cultural or recreational location.
Community support makes Kids Discover the Trail! possible. Your charitable gift of any amount is welcomed and needed. Join the many generous donors who help our kids discover the trail!
Individual, Corporate and Foundation Donors
$500 and up
BorgWarner Morse TEC
Jim and Terry Byrnes
Jennifer Engel and Larry Young
Howland Foundation of the Community Foundation
Up to $500
Bill and Sherry Alberta
Bob and Laura Andolina
Randi Beckmann and John Hoffmann
Susan Blumenthal and David Kreinick
Ithaca Teachers Association
Chantal Loechi and David Flannelly
Ed and Anne McLaughlin
Everett and June Morse
In honor of MOTE Volunteers-
Walter Gates, Coleen Keifer, Sasha Paris, Don Wilson,
Lenore Durkee and Larry Jensen
Don and Sue Rakow
Margaret and Frank Robinson
Joel and Cathy Zumoff
Ann Marie Bleach
First Book Foundation
Friends of Tompkins County Public Library
Ian Alberta Fund, IPEI
Johnson Art Museum
Raymond and Margaret Van Houtte Education Fund
In honor of leadership of Terry Byrnes, Jennifer Engel, Frank Robinson and Don Rakow
Special Thanks to Past Program Sponsors (2005-2010):
Tompkins Trust Company
BorgWarner Morse TEC