A Nature's Classroom experience can be affordable for everyone with some determination and planning. We have some suggestions.
Nature's Classroom expects most schools to raise the necessary funds for our unique program, often with the help of local fundraising efforts.
Of course we want all children to have the opportunity to take part in this educational experience so we do our best to provide financial aid to many schools whose populations qualify.
To ensure that our program is accessible to all students, we have created this page to help schools come up with ideas for funding their Nature's Classroom trip.
Schools often have funding set aside for educational field trips. Nature's Classroom meets state standards in Science, Math, Language Arts, History and Social Science. The Nature's Classroom program offers a strong STEM component. Often schools can find funding available through state STEM initiatives.
We have seen many creative fundraising ideas from our schools, including benefit dinners, school dances, student vs. staff basketball games, movie nights and talent shows. Many schools raise funds with bake sales, raffles, t-shirt sales, coupon booklet sales and wrapping paper sales. We're sure you have your own terrific ideas.
Grants and Donations
Very often local businesses, banks and non-profits will donate scholarship money for low-income students. Sometimes parents work for companies that support local school trips. Some restaurants, Uno's for example, have fund-raising nights that give 10% of proceeds to a particular cause. The Target store offers easy-to-apply-for field trip grants designed to offset transportation costs. Organizations like the United Way and local cultural councils may also have funding available. In addition, many state departments of natural resources or conservation departments offer nature-based field trip grants.
Parents and Guardians
Parents and guardians are sometimes asked to pay for some or all of the cost of a Nature's Classroom program. The vast majority of parents who pay for the Nature's Classroom trip are enthusiastic about their student's participation. That enthusiasm is validated when their student returns home reinvigorated about their school subjects and excited to continue being an active participant in their learning process.