Wildlife Conservation Society Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Teen Education Program at Zoos and Aquarium

$1 million grant will fund "Bridging the Gap"-- a program designed to help teens in low-income areas pursue careers in wildlife science

Bronx, NY – July 2, 2012 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Education Department has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support a teen education initiative at WCS’s five wildlife parks in New York City – Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo.

The three-year $1,045,000 grant will help fund a career education project called Bridging the Gap: The Effects of a School-To-Career Approach to Promoting Wildlife Science Careers Among Minority Students.

The project consists of after-school and weekend programming to teach and engage high school students through hands-on activities relating to wildlife science; and follow-up programming where students will be tracked while receiving long-term support and mentoring toward a future in wildlife science careers.

“WCS is a leader in teen conservation education and this wonderful opportunity to further our programs while reaching out to underserved communities in New York,” said Don Lisowy, WCS Director of Education. “Our team educators, career development professionals, and diversity experts will provide students with invaluable experience and practical knowledge that will serve them for a lifetime.”

WCS will work with Hezel Associates, a leading education research and evaluation firm, and Good Shepherd Services, an organization that is dedicated to youth development in low-income communities of New York City, to implement Bridging the Gap.

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.

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.

If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation.

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