On behalf of all children (and former children) in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I beseech you, dear teachers, school administrators, and home school instructors, bring the kids to Virginia Zoo for an educational field trip.
If you’ve never taught in front of a live elephant before, the time has come today!
images | The Virginia Zoo
The closest zoo to my hometown growing up was the Bronx Zoo. Taking the stairs onto the yellow school bus on those mornings felt like climbing onto a Jeep en route to the wild African bush. Life can be so mundane and monotonous for kids locked into the life their parents–and the world–has given them. Not on zoo field trip day. That is a day for true adventure.
“I enjoy taking my kids to the VA Zoo as often as possible,” said Norfolk parent Jeff Hewitt. “Going on a semi-regular basis reaffirms the concept of animals as part of a thriving ecosystem, and not merely cute pictures in a book. Each trip gives them a deeper understanding and level of respect for the creatures with which we share the planet.”
On zoo field trip day, you get to make faces at a monkey. You get to make bird noises at an emu. You get to imagine what it’s like to swim with Asian Small-Clawed Otters. You get to imagine cuddling with that red panda.
“It creates life long memories and connects children to wild life they might not have had the chance to otherwise,” said Michelle Odom, who has attended VA Zoo field trips with her daughter, Hannah. “As a parent it is an invaluable experience to be able to share the excitement of a field trip to the zoo with your child.”
During a field trip to Virginia Zoo, the students get to smell the wild. It’s a rite of passage every young person in Hampton Roads and beyond deserves at least once a year, in my opinion.
“School field trips to the zoo were always fun and fostered a life long love of animals in myself and other classmates alike,” said Alison Burdick, who attended Independence middle school in Virginia Beach.
There are a number of options for teachers and schools to choose from, but what’s key here is that the Zoo education staff will tailor your visit to your curriculum; yes, Virginia’s Standards of Learning will be addressed on your trip. A passionate (and patient) Virginia Zoo educator guides the way as your students experience the magic of science and conservation in the furry flesh.
We are wild about learning and the Zoo has programs to fit all your educational needs. Zoo school programs provide a hands-on, brains-on opportunity for students in all grade levels to learn about animals and conservation. Zoo school programs are more than just a field trip; they are a memorable, fun and highly educational way to explore science.
Each program includes:
• Up close animal encounters
• Interactive science lessons aligned to Virginia’s Standards of Learning
• Admission to the Zoo for the day for students and chaperones
Zoo school programs fit curriculum requirements in North Carolina and private schools, too.
Or – go beyond the classroom walls, and book a guided tour for your school group to explore the Zoo with an animal expert.
If you can’t come to the Zoo, we’ll come to you. Most school programs can be brought to your site.