Chances are, that when you were younger, school field trips were a regular occurance for you and your friends. But do you recall that sometimes, off-campus excursions meant that families had to pony up for the transportation, venue passes, lunches, etc.? While the benefits of these types of day trips are boundless, the related expenses can be foreboding.
According to research, field trips are rapidly declining, with 61% of instructors saying they are less likely to organize an instructional day trip now than they were five years ago.
These days, a lot of families are watching their household budgets, which means that they are cutting down on their expenses. And with school districts experiencing budget constraints, that means that there are children who are not getting a fair shake when it comes to partaking in the various outings.
As a way to ensure that more children have opportunities to participate in experiential field trips, Britney Upshaw – a 22-year-old MBA student at Canisius University – has launched an initiative that helps to level out the financial playing field for students who might not otherwise be able to attend the off-campus excursions. Her new non-profit LLC is called Get Out and About.
Upshaw is now working with local schools and organizations, to provide students in underserved and low-income communities of Western, New York with the same educational and recreational benefits and opportunities that other children have.
“Field trips are an experience no kid should miss out on due to financial constraints of school districts or households,” said Upshaw. “Get Out and About wants to close the opportunity gap for these students in underserved areas.”
At this time, Upshaw is raising awareness for her new venture, while approaching school principals, teachers, and/or community center leaders, to gauge their interest in her program. She’s also looking for additional donation support for her efforts. After all, an effort of this magnitude is going to require widespread community support, creative thinking, and some ingenuity. In the end, the benefits of this type of initiative could be, and should be, enormous.