The Educational Value of Field Trips

Taking students to cultural institutions can have a lasting impact.

The field trip is a longstanding tradition in American public education. Students pile into yellow buses to visit a variety of cultural institutions including art, natural history, children’s and science museums as well as, theaters, zoos and historical sites. Today, culturally enriching field trips are on the decline. The decision to reduce these visits reflects a variety of factors that administrators and teachers face today.

A study at The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has proven that “enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.” (Learn more about the study »)

Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that your students will have the opportunity to participate. The Target Field Trip Grant offers free buses to K-12 students nationwide. (Visit their website for more information »)

Remember, it’s never too early to schedule a visit to Explore & More, or to book an E&M program at your location too!

The Summer Slide

Is the summer achievement gap avoidable?

To achieve in life and school, children and adults need ongoing opportunities to enrich their skills. This is especially true during the summer months.

Many Americans have visions of summer as a carefree time when “kids can be kids.” Adult caretakers take for granted the prospect of enriching experiences such as summer camps, time with family, and trips to museums, parks, and libraries.

Unfortunately, some youth face anything but idyllic summer months. When the school doors close, many children struggle to access educational opportunities.

Studies have proven that with the help of an adult, simple educational tools such as voluntary reading programs can work to reduce the summer achievement gap. Adults can help children to select appropriate books and employ simple techniques to improve skills and understanding. Encourage your students and their parents to partake in enriching opportunities this summer.

Find out more from the National Summer Learning Association »

Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose

A Report from the Alliance for Childhood and Defending the Early Years.

In the United States, there is a widespread belief that teaching children to read early—in Kindergarten or even PreKindergarten—will help them be better readers in the long-run. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that this is so. How then did this idea take hold so strongly?

Read the Full Report »

Our Move to Canalside

You may have read some stories recently in the news about changes in our move to Canalside. Here’s the update!

ECHDC had originally slated the Museum for a parcel in the South Aud Block that was both on the tow path of the canal and abutting Main Street. Last fall, they decided to put that parcel out to bid for private development, with the caveat that 40,000 square feet be reserved for Explore & More. They received one proposal, and have not been able to reach an agreement on terms.

So ECHDC has now decided to slate that parcel solely for private development. Under their new proposal, Explore & More would move to an adjacent parcel on the canal at Canalside, in a standalone building that ECHDC would build. We are now completing our due diligence to confirm that this new parcel will be able to support all of the world-class plans we developed with the community for a Children’s Museum that would be both sustainable and iconic, making us all proud to be Western New Yorkers.

We hope to complete the due diligence soon to announce the new site in detail, and begin building. We will keep you posted on our progress!