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National park foundation awards $220,000 to engage the next generation of national park stewards

Twenty Parks To Participate in Foundation’s Park Stewards Youth-Focused Service-Learning Program Sponsored By University of Phoenix

(Washington, D.C.) May 30, 2012 - The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today it has awarded $220,000 in grants as part of the 2012 Park Stewards program.  Since 2009, the National Park Foundation’s Park Stewards program has made it possible for high school teachers and their students across the country to build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for their national parks through personal engagement and service learning projects.  This year, University of Phoenix has partnered with the National Park Foundation making it possible for 22 high school teachers to work in parks over the summer break, creating curriculum that will then be taught to their students in the coming school year. During the summer, the teachers and park staff also develop service-learning projects that will be implemented by high school students throughout the course of the school year. The projects tie to state academic standards and are meaningful to the national parks.

“Our national parks provide an ideal physical backdrop for students to learn relevant information about the world around them,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Simultaneously, this innovative program imparts the importance of these extraordinary places on our young people, planting the seeds of lifelong engagement with their parks.”

“Connecting high school teachers and students to our national parks is a vibrant way to inspire the environmental stewards of tomorrow,” said Seth Mones, VP of Sustainability for Apollo Education Group (the parent company of University of Phoenix).   “The Park Stewards program provides a wonderful environmental and educational experience, and University of Phoenix is excited to support this excellent program.”

The 2012 Park Stewards grantees include:

For more information about the participating parks, please visit the National Park Foundation website.

For more information on the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org.

About the National Park Foundation. You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.  Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land. www.nationalparks.org

About University of Phoenix. University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

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