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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

About

Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing
educational material for middle school-aged children across the country.
Our program forms partnerships with school districts to provide
children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the
history of America and its National Parks with their current curriculum.

Journeys Through America’s goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community. Only through early childhood education of and exposure to “America’s Best Idea,” will America’s children feel an attachment to their heritage, and in turn develop a sense of individual responsibility and commitment to the health and well-being of our reserves.

Journeys Through America is a program that is in direct response to the
growing number of young people who are choosing to stay indoors, as opposed to experiencing the benefits of an active, outdoor lifestyle.

The 2009 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report found:

  • Participation in outdoor recreation dropped 9.0% by children ages 6 to 12 from 2007 to 2008.  This is of extreme concern because decreasing numbers now may lead to shrinking numbers of outdoor enthusiasts for future generations.
  • since 2006, 6-12 year olds have had the most dramatic decline in outdoor recreation out of all age groups.

These are only a few of the many frightening finds about America’s youth today. But this problem doesn’t stop there. It goes hand-in-hand with the childhood obesity epidemic and even is attributed to child behavioral issues. The benefits of nature are seemingly endless. It positively affects both our physical and mental well-being. Nature is healthy fuel for the soul.

The goal of this program is to bring the outdoors into the classroom as much
as possible, to promote a healthy lifestyle, teach sustainability and increase
awareness of environmental preservation and to help urge youth to enjoy the outdoors once they’ve left the classroom doors.

Children spend, on average, 40 hours a week in the classroom, so it is imperative to integrate the two, and expose children to the positive values of outdoor recreation, even if they can’t be outside at that present moment. It will help influence their decision making process in the future, and will help empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her lifestyle.

How Will We Accomplish This?

Beginning in just a few weeks, Karianne & Ashley will be embarking on an 8(+) week-long road trip throughout the continental US, traveling to as many national parks as possible. At each park they will be camping, hiking, backpacking, etc, all while filming their experiences. These short documentaries will be made accesible by those classes and school districts who have signed up as participants.

Each “webisode” will contain educational material regarding the park they are currently visiting, including history, climate, geography, flora, fauna, even a little about the local culture.  Additionally, participating classes will be able to request customized videos to help boost the effectiveness of their current teaching curriculum.

Additionally, this project will be broadcast using the social media tools popular today. Tools such as Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, etc. will be utilized to tell the story of our journey from start to finish.  Each participating classroom will be encouraged to follow us throughout our trip, so they themselves feel as though they are experiencing the park & nature right there with us.