What do you do when a newly constructed Elementary School you helped fund has 1,500 students rather than the 1,000 it was designed for? Sol Price saw this as an opportunity! Why not partner with the utilized Balboa Park museums and partners for educational enrichment classes? Once again, Sol found an innovative solution to what most saw as daunting obstacles.
School in the Park began in 1999 with the mission to cultivate curiosity, competence, confidence and character through experiential learning opportunities for City Heights students. The program has grown over the years to include Rosa Parks Elementary, along with Wilson and Monroe Clark Middle Schools. Ten different museums offer up to eight weeks of instructions each year for 3rd through 8th grade students to discover everything from science to theater.
“Each week students visit the park and spend up to 20 hours exploring exhibits, doing hands-on projects and activities, and learning from experts in various fields,” shared Debbie Higdon, Director. “They are exposed to career possibilities and get behind-the-scenes access that is only available to School in the Park students.”
Students have the opportunity to learn with museum educators for one week at a time including: Air & Space Museum, Natural History, The Fleet Science Center, The Old Globe, San Diego History Center, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Junior Theater, Museum of Us, The Mingei, and the San Diego Zoo.
“Most of our students would not get the opportunity to visit these museums without SITP,” stated one middle school teacher. “To learn in these environments, be exposed to hands on curriculum, fellowship with their peers, and learn from field experts is simply amazing and unforgettable for them.”
One student concluded, “I will always remember that SITP is really fun in different ways and you learn stuff that you did not know!”