The Kids2Parks Program goal is to ensure all children in our community have equal access to State Park field trips.
Kids2Parks (K2P) is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership with Friends and California State Parks, increases the number of elementary school students from Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties who can visit a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access with funds for transportation to and from the parks.
Following analysis by Friends and California State Parks, the cost of transportation was identified as the most-often noted and hardest to overcome barrier. The Friends’ Board of Directors made a commitment to address this important equity issue and funded a pilot program that was launched in the fall of 2016 to provide transportation for school field trips. Based on the success of the first year of the pilot, the Kids2Parks program funds transportation costs to the parks, which is approximately $300-550 per trip.
The program offers field trips to 99 eligible Title 1 elementary schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Title 1 is a designation by the U. S. Department of Education that primarily indicates a high percentage of students from low-income families. The Kids2Parks application and acceptance period opens each spring for the upcoming school year and funding is allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Every dollar contributed by the community to Kids2Parks will go directly to offset the transportation costs of participating schools. Friends members also finance the education and interpretive services provided by State Park professionals.
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