Field Trips Just Got Smarter.

Essential Experiences started as a three-year $1.2 million commitment from GAR Foundation to provide preschool through fifth-grade students at Akron Public Schools with a meaningful field study outside of the classroom and has been renewed for another three years with an additional $2.1 million in funding. Students will visit one of seven local cultural and historical organizations to participate in custom-designed educational programming directly connected to classroom learning. Each school year, nearly 10,000 students will participate in the experiences deepening connections to our community, building skill sets through inquiry, and gaining exposure to career possibilities.

The field studies take place at the following locations:

  • Preschool: ArtSparks (in the school classrooms)
  • Kindergarten: Akron Children’s Museum
  • First Grade: Akron Zoo and ZooMobile (on site and in the classrooms)
  • Second Grade: Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Third Grade: Hale Farm & Village
  • Fourth Grade: Akron Art Museum
  • Fifth Grade: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.

Each experience was carefully designed by Learning Specialists at Akron Public Schools and the host organizations to include specific learning objectives that are directly tied to the teacher’s lesson plan and Ohio Learning Standards. Each experience includes pre-visit and post-visit activities, age-appropriate college and career targets, and technology elements.

Three important elements make these experiences more robust than a traditional field trip:

  • Curriculumbased: the experiences are designed by professional educators to connect directly to the content being taught and learned in students’ own  classrooms.
  • Equity and inclusion: Prior to this initiative, field trips were not guaranteed for every child and every classroom across the district. Essential Experiences ensures that every child in every participating  grade gets to have the same valuable experience.
  • ConsistencyEssential Experiences provides students with a consistent, hands-on, grade-appropriate experience to support their learning each year. 

Learn More: