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Here's How Kids Discover the Trail!

Elementary grades are linked with Discovery Trail organizations. Discovery Trail educators work with classroom teachers to coordinate student experiences in the field with pre-trip and post-trip classroom activities, refining curriculum as needed to align with the New York State Learning Standards for each grade. Every student receives a take-home book and a pass to return with their family for free to sites that charge an admission.

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Families Visit
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.

Classrooms Connect
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.

"I love that this program allows all of our children to experience the rich resources of our community. We have many students who would never go to any of the museums or the library if it were not done as part of school. Thank you for providing this enriching experience for us."
—CAROLINE TEACHER

child reading

"I think that exposure to the Discovery Trail sites is a wonderful experience for all children and having it as a common experience will help to build a feeling of community across the school district."
—BELLE SHERMAN TEACHER

"We were so thrilled when our daughter came home with the beautiful hardcover book and were so delighted by the generosity that allowed so many children to each have a copy. We have three children, and they all have been enjoying the book ever since, even acting it out!"
—PARENT


Pre-Kindergarten
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell
LEARNING TO LOOK, LOOKING TO LEARN
KDT! BOOK:  ART, Patrick McDonnell
KDT! BOOK:  Shapes, Education Department interns Bartels Scholar Sammy Perlmutter and Veronica Franzese


Kindergarten
Tompkins County Public Library
CELEBRATING STORIES
KDT! BOOK: Interrupting Chicken, David Ezra Stein


First Grade
Museum of the Earth at PRI
DISCOVERING EARTH’S MYSTERIES
KDT! BOOK: Fossils, Aliki


Second Grade
Sciencenter
POWER THE FUTURE
KDT! BOOK: Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World, Allen Drummond


Third Grade
Cornell Botanic Gardens
WILDFLOWER EXPLORATION
KDT! BOOK: Wildflowers: A Peterson’s First Guide


Fourth Grade
The History Center in Tompkins County
EIGHT SQUARE SCHOOLHOUSE: 19TH CENTURY LIFE
KDT! BOOK: The Secret School, Avi


Fifth Grade
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
BIODIVERSITY ​SURVEYS
KDT! BOOK: Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America, Roger Tory Peterson

Cayuga Nature Center
TEAM BUILDING AND LEADERSHIP
KDT! BOOK: The Climb, Book 2, Gordon Korman