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April 9, 2008 > John F. Kennedy Elementary Receives $1,000 Field Trip Grant from Target

John F. Kennedy Elementary Receives $1,000 Field Trip Grant from Target

By Brittney Hansen
Photos By courtesy of Elizabeth Chavez, Andrea Kim and Sarah Roberts

Each year, the Target Corporation awards field trip grants to as many as 1,600 educators; these grants can be up to $1,000, and cover traveling expenses, admission tickets, and many other things in order to make a fun and educational field trip possible. Among this year's recipients are the kindergarten classes at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, whose application was chosen out of 16,000 others from all over the country. Because of Target's Field Trip Grants Program, 60 kindergarteners were able to explore the more than 200 acres of land that makes up the Ardenwood Historic Farm.

Kennedy Elementary Kindergarten Teachers Elizabeth Chavez, Sarah Roberts and Andrea Kim first heard about the available grants in late 2007, and applied soon after. Included with the application was a full description of the field trip to Ardenwood Farm, as well as how it related to their current curriculum for the kids, and what the grant money would be used for. Based on this information, Target officials were able to sort through thousands of applications and choose which ones they would honor. Within a short amount of time, the teachers were informed that their application was selected, and that they would be going on their field trip, funded by the grant.

On Tuesday, April 1, the students, teachers and chaperones started the morning by walking to the Ardenwood Historic Farm, a little less than a mile away from their school. Once at the farm, they were able to explore and learn, watch demonstrations, and take care of animals themselves. Everything that they learned tied in with their current life science and social studies units, and they were able to learn about local history on the farm.

The children had the opportunity to feed chickens, goats and sheep, plant seed potatoes, grind corn and gather eggs just like real farmhands would. In addition, the children were able to ride the horse-drawn railroad, which opened early just for them, and to watch a blacksmith demonstrate his trade. Each child took home a personalized horseshoe, with his or her name on it. The naturalists at Ardenwood led an exploration for the kids, and they talked about the history behind many of the buildings, landmarks and equipment.

Many of these children had never been to a working farm before, so this field trip grant provided a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn in an authentic farm environment. "In 17 years, this is the best field trip we've ever had," said Chavez. "A learning experience this rich would never be possible without special funding," she added. One of the parent chaperones, Daphne McIntosh, concluded that "it was a wonderful day."

After the trip through the historic farm, the children wrote about their fun experience and about things that they learned at Ardenwood. There is no better way for children to learn than to have fun at the same time, and educational field trips are excellent ways to accomplish this. Teachers at Kennedy expressed eagerness to participate in the program again next year, and hope to be able to take their classes on different and equally exciting field trips in the years to come.

To learn more about the Target Field Trip Grant Program, or about other grants from Target, visit www.target.com/community.


John F. Kennedy Elementary School
35430 Blackburn Drive, Newark
(510) 818-3400

Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-0199

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