The Tennessee Aquarium and Causeway.org raised enough money to cover transportation costs for 2,600 students to visit. Shown, from left to right, are Judy Powell, Andree Herbert, Laura Keys, Charlie Arant, Tim Baker, Stephen Scarbrough, Rob Bettis, Kristen Kozinski, Stephen Culp.
- photo by Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium and Causeway teamed up as local nonprofits to secure support for the Aquarium’s $20 for 7: Drive for Schools. Causeway.org matched 10% of more than $3,200 raised through individual contributors to help the Aquarium exceed its overall goal. In total, the Drive for Schools raised enough money to cover transportation costs for more than 2,600 students to visit the Aquarium with their classes.
“Everyone at Causeway was excited to help Chattanoogans help the Aquarium we all love, and the Aquarium did a great job rallying support,” said Causeway co-founder Stephen Culp. “Results like this show that, regardless of the challenge, Chattanoogans will rise to the occasion to help each other-- Causeway just helps make that easier.”
Studies have shown that students who receive environmental education programs, like those offered to school groups at the Tennessee Aquarium, score better on standardized tests, improve their overall GPA, stay in school longer, receive higher-than-average scholarship awards and display better classroom behavior. “Interactive field trips, especially when combined with a standards-based environmental education, enrich the lives of children and help them academically and socially,” said Tim Baker, the Aquarium’s director of education.
Many school systems have to make tough choices when it comes to experiential learning due to tight budgets. Of the teachers surveyed by the Aquarium, 92% report that transportation costs are a major barrier when considering educational trips.
Last year the Tennessee Aquarium covered admission and program costs for more than 30,000 underserved students and offered reduced price admission to another 55,000 students. The Aquarium has always been dedicated to covering admission costs for students in need, but today some school budgets are so lean that there is no money available for transportation costs.
This recent infusion of support will help several schools during the 2013-2014 school year. To help support the Aquarium’s educational programs, make a gift at: tnaqua.org/contribute.