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NJ Program Has One Goal: More Field Trips

Over $45,000 Dispersed To Low-Income School Districts, Including One in Carteret
Charlie Kratovil

CARTERET, NJ—As grammar school children there’s no better feeling than taking a break from the confines of the classroom to go on a field trip.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation have teamed up to offer as much as $50,000 each year to low-income schools for educational field trips.

The program, which launched in January, has already provided over $45,000 in the form of 83 grants to New Jersey Schools.

“Field trips add a whole new dimension, making learning fun while also deepening students’ educational experience. All of our students deserve these opportunities,” said President of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Chris Daggett.

Thus far only one institution in Middlesex County has taken advantage of the program, according to Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Communications Manager Meghan Jambor.

The Carteret School district’s Wellspring Center for Prevention received $400 this year for a field trip to Clean Ocean Action's Student Summit at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City slated for May.

“To be eligible, schools must have 65 percent or more of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, so that restricted the pool of schools,” Jambor told New Brunswick Today.

Field trips in the state received upwards of $700 to cover field trip transportation costs to explore nature and the sciences at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, become spellbound by the world of SLAM poetry at William Paterson University and take a lesson in bullying at the Youth Tolerance Museum in Camden.

Although still in its infancy, Hans Dekker, president of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, says the announcement drew more than 150 applications statewide.

“For our first round of grants, we were blown away by the response,” Dekker said in a statement. “With the costs associated with field trips becoming increasingly hard to come by, there’s a need to fill the gap. We want to continue providing this fund, but we need your help and invite anyone with a fond field trip memory or a love of learning to show their support.”

The Community Foundation of New Jersey, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and New Jersey Historical Commission made the program, which aims to raise a $2 million fund, possible.

Jambor noted that it is likely many schools in the area are eligible but simply didn’t apply. She recommends that Middlesex County schools keep their eyes peeled for future grant applications at www.grdodge.org