WCS’s Bronx Zoo To Receive National Award for Teen Education Program

American Association of Museums honors WCS’s Wildlife Career Ladder program with 2012 EdCom Award for Excellence in Programming


Bronx, NY – April 3, 2012 – The Education Department at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo has been named winner of the 2012 EdCom Award for Excellence in Programming by the American Association of Museums (AAM) for its Wildlife Career Ladder program for teens.

The EdCom Award for Excellence in Programming recognizes exemplary creativity and innovation in museum educational programming. The award marks the second prestigious institutional honor conferred on WCS’s Wildlife Career Ladder. The same program received the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Diversity Award in September 2011.

The AAM will honor the WCS Education Department for its latest achievement on April 29 in Minneapolis.

Established in 2008-09 with support from the Bronx Institute of Lehman College through funding from a U.S. Department of Education GEAR UP grant, the Wildlife Career Ladder is a multi-year program that engages underserved students at the beginning of their sophomore year in high school and takes them through the beginning of their junior year. There are currently 50 young people enrolled in the program – almost all of whom are minorities and many come from some of the lowest income communities in the country.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Bronx Institute of Lehman College and the success of the Wildlife Career Ladder program,” said Don Lisowy, WCS Director of Education. “For a young program to be recognized for its value and potential on this high level is certainly rewarding. We are continuing to refine this program and expand it to serve as a model for development of future programs.”

The Wildlife Career Ladder consists of three main components: an afterschool and weekend wildlife science course where students receive an intensive introduction to wildlife and conservation science topics; an explainers program where students engage in further study enabling them to work as exhibit interpreters or “explainers” at WCS’s Bronx Zoo; and a career ladder internship where students are placed in part-time positions throughout WCS in order to gain first-hand experience with different career opportunities available in wildlife conservation.

Since 1983, the Education Committee of AAM has recognized outstanding contributions to museum education by individual practitioners, by museums offering distinguished programs and publications, and by those individuals demonstrating leadership within the entire museum community and beyond. The 2012 EdCom Excellence Awards continue to recognize the people who exemplify best practices with exceptional people and the resources they provide.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Education Department serves more than 100,000 students and 2,400 teachers annually. It works across New York City to provide science, technology, engineering, and math education to underserved students. WCS is a partner with the innovative Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx and offers subsidized and free programs to thousands of students from all five New York City boroughs each year.

Contact:
Max Pulsinelli: 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild: 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org


The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult general admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

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