School Kids in the Park (SKIP)

SKIP (School Kids in the Park) is the cornerstone of the Friends' environmental education programming for youth. Each year the program invites 1,000 local students (elementary, middle and high school) and their educators on Ranger-guided field trips in Virgin Islands National Park. The program is available to public and private schools, as well as homeschool students, throughout the Virgin Islands. Want to sign your school up? Email Karen Jarvis at kjarvis@friendsvinp.org or call (340) 779-4940 for more information.

SKIP encourages educators to utilize their national park as a “living classroom” and works to remove barriers that may limit students' participation by covering transportation and food costs.

Following best practices in STEM education, SKIP is structured to offer grade-specific interactive learning experiences that build cognitive development, critical thinking, math and science skills. In addition, the program and its model are proven to create empathy for plant and animal life in youth, which can lead to a greater commitment to conservation and preservation ideals in adulthood.

SKIP helps to ensure local students have great opportunities to learn about the natural world and their park's history through personal experience. The program offers three field trip options for students - Reef Bay Hike, Hassel Island Boat Trip, and a Seashore Walk. Educators benefit from SKIP by gaining support from NPS Rangers on how to design outdoor learning experiences (field trips) that support their required curriculum. Additionally, educators can apply for mini-grants to support project-based learning activities in the park. In this way, SKIP narrows the acheivement gap and promotes environmental stewardship!

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