Hylton Foundation Grant Supports Over 800 Students in Science in the Park Program

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Provided by Prince William County Parks, Recreation & Tourism

Thanks to a grant from The Cecil & Irene Hylton Foundation via the Prince William Parks Foundation, more than 800 students from Title I schools in Prince William County were awarded scholarships to participate in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Science in the Park program last spring.

Science in the Park provides hands-on science lessons for K-6th grade students based on the Virginia Standards of Learning Science curriculum, utilizing the resources of Prince William County’s beautiful parks as an outdoor classroom.

“Last year was the biggest year we ever saw as far as participation in the program. We had 8,524 kids participate and a little over 800 of those students were supported through the Hylton grant,” says Christy Mory, Environmental Recreation Specialist with the Science in the Park program.

Participating students visit one of the Science in the Park locations—Lake Ridge ParkSilver Lake Park, or Locust Shade Park where teachers can choose from a variety of customized lessons that help support what they’re teaching in the classroom such as habitat trail hikes, creek studies and learning about water health.

Last year, the DPRT launched Science in the Park Onsite for special education students who may not be able to travel to parks on field trips. “We now bring the program to the schools,” said Mory. “We’re excited about this program and happy to report that we saw 650 special education students in their classrooms last year.”

The Prince William Parks Foundation whose vision is to ensure that everyone has opportunities to play, recreate and experience nature applied for the Hylton grant and administered the disbursement to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism which awards the scholarships based on financial need.

“The Hylton Foundation has been at our side making our vision happen by supporting our programs with their grants,” said Ruth M. Anderson, Chair of the Foundation. “In the past couple of years hundreds of children, including special needs children have benefited. We are very grateful for and appreciative of the Hylton Foundation’s support.”

The Prince William Parks Foundation also runs a Count-Me-In Scholarship program which helps fund summer camps for families who would normally not be able to send a child to a class, camp, or a program due to financial hardships. To learn more about the scholarship program or to donate, click here.

For more information on Science in the Park, click here.

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