What We Do: About the Buddy Bison School Program
National Park Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established the Buddy Bison School Program (BBSP) in 2009 to provide environmental education to elementary and middle schools in under-served communities. We work closely with teachers to plan each trip — using parks, public lands and waterways as outdoor classrooms.
Centered around our lovable woolly mascot, Buddy Bison™ our programs help kids develop that special bond with nature. As Buddy Bison says, “explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” Depending on the level of funding for each school and the number of trips approved by each school district, we provide two or more park experiences where students will learn from park rangers, naturalists, outdoor recreation experts and other outdoor education professionals. Classroom visits by wildlife experts, rangers and naturalists are also provided. We bring kids to parks – and parks to kids!
The goals of all of our park experiences whether they are in the park or in the classroom are: 1) education – we align and enhance classroom lessons in STEM, history, social studies as well as other disciplines, 2) health and wellness through outdoor recreation, and 3) park stewardship – we foster current and future caretakers of our parks and the environment.
As a park-focused non-profit environmental education program, we fully fund and plan trips including all logistics for our 81 sponsored Title I schools which span 20 states and Washington, D.C. More than 80% of our students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch, the federal indicator of low-income. A sample trip itinerary can be viewed here.
While they do not receive support from NPT, we have learned of numerous schools that do not have Title I status who also use our free online resources to engage their students with the great outdoors.
To learn more about our school program or how you can support a school in your community contact, Billy Schrack, director of youth programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-279-7275 ext. 20.
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NPT provides learning experiences in local, state, and national parks and public lands.
The 2019-2020 school year marks our 11th year of park programming.
20 STATES and WASHINGTON D.C.
NPT serves a growing number of schools across the country.
The Buddy Bison School Program serves 6,000 students annually.
Who We Serve: Our Buddy Bison Schools
The Buddy Bison school program currently benefits children in 81 Title I schools across the country (grades pre-K through 8th) by enhancing existing school curricula with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as history, language arts, reading, geography, the arts, and outdoor recreation. Students also learn about the careers of professionals who support our parks — and the importance of stewarding our public lands —through school visits from our many conservation partners.
Below is an interactive map representing our current Buddy Bison Schools (green). This map also includes the schools that we support through our Kids to Parks Day National School Contest (Blue). If you are interested in supporting a school in your community, please contact Billy Schrack.
Buddy Bison School Program
2019 Kids to Parks Day National School Contest Winners
Buddy Bison Schools
|California||Los Angeles||Clifford Math and Technology Magnet|
|Novato||Hamilton Elementary School|
|Vallejo||Anne Pennycook Elementary School|
|Oakland||Hoover Elementary School|
|Sanger||Wilson Elementary School|
|South Lake Tahoe||Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet|
|Sunnyvale||Vargas Elementary School|
|Delaware||Wilmington||Great Oaks Charter School|
|Georgia||Atlanta||M. Agnes Jones Elementary School|
|Mableton||Bryant Elementary School|
|Marietta||Hollydale Elementary School|
|Marietta||Fair Oaks Elementary School|
|Illinois||Chicago||Charles G. Hammond Elementary School|
|Chicago||Jose De Diego Community Academy|
|Chicago||The Chicago Academy|
|Metropolis||Metropolis Elementary School|
|Indiana||South Central||South Central Elementary School|
|Kansas||Wichita||Buckner Elementary School|
|Louisiana||Chalmette||Chalmette Elementary School|
|New Orleans||Kipp East Community Primary School|
|Minnesota||St. Paul||Bruce Vento Elementary School|
|Maryland||Baltimore||St. Ignatius Loyola Academy|
|Baltimore||Mount Washington Elementary School|
|Baltimore||Wolfe Street Academy|
|Baltimore||MLK Elementary School|
|Baltimore||Frederick Elementary School|
|Baltimore||Commodore John Rodgers School|
|Baltimore||Harford Heights Elementary School|
|Baltimore||James McHenry Elementary School|
|Baltimore||Mary E. Rodman Elementary School|
|Riverdale Park||Beacon Heights Elementary School|
|Silver Spring||Harmony Hills Elementary School|
|Hyattsville||Cesar Chavez Elementary School|
|Gaithersburg||South Lake Elementary School|
|Gaithersburg||Gaithersburg Elementary School|
|Gaithersburg||Washington Grove Elementary School|
|Massachusetts||Boston||Adams Elementary School|
|Boston||Donald Mckay Elementary School|
|Mississippi||Biloxi||Popp’s Ferry Elementary School|
|Missouri||St. Louis||Ashland Elementary School|
|St. Louis||Mullanphy ILC Elementary School|
|North Kansas City||SAGE Center|
|Montana||Billings||Crow Agency Public School|
|Nevada||Laughlin||Bennett Elementary School|
|Las Vegas||Howard Hollingsworth Elementary School|
|Las Vegas||Walter V Long Elementary School|
|New Jersey||Atlantic City||Richmond Avenue School|
|Newark||KIPP JJ: SPARK Academy|
|Newark||Fairmount Elementary School|
|New York||Brooklyn||Brooklyn Jesuit Prep|
|North Carolina||Durham||Emily K Center|
|Durham||EK Powe Elementary School|
|Hendersonville||Dana Elementary School|
|Pennsylvania||Chester||Chester Community Charter School|
|Chester||Walnut Street Elementary School|
|Philadelphia||Lab School 59th Street Campus|
|Texas||Beaumont||Ehrhart Elementary School|
|Virginia||Alexandria||Jefferson Houston Elementary School|
|Arlington||Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School|
|Washington, D.C.||Washington DC||St. Francis Xavier|
|Washington DC||EL Haynes Public Charter School|
|Washington DC||Elise Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School|
|Washington DC||Patterson Elementary School|
|Washington DC||Neval Thomas Elementary School|
|Washington DC||Children’s Guild Charter School|
|Washington DC||KIPP DC: WILL Academy|
|Washington DC||Friendship Public Charter School|
|Washington DC||Howard University Middle School|
|Washington DC||Kimball Elementary School|
|Washington DC||Sunshine Early Learning Center|
|Washington DC||Washington Jesuit Academy|
|Washington DC||Barbara Chambers Children’s Center|
|Washington DC||Seaton Elementary School|
|Washington DC||West Education Campus|
|Washington DC||Washington School for Girls|
|Washington DC||Ida B Wells Midde School|
|Washington DC||Stuart-Hobson Middle School|