Grant-funded Initiative Connects More PPS Students to Museum Experiences

Jun 29, 2017

Peoria Public School students joined Polly Barton, CEO of the Barton Family Foundation, for the launch of the Every Student Initiative, which will provide fully-funded field trips for each student in the district for the next five years.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

“This is your museum.” That phrase, directed at an audience of kids, was repeated by the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s President during the announcement of a new program for Peoria Public Schools students Thurs.

The new Every Student Initiative will provide fully-funded field trips that are specifically designed to reinforce classroom curriculum.

“We’ve got to serve every student. I want them to feel a sense of excitement and ownership,” Morris said. “That they don’t drive by here and think that it’s somebody else’s.”

Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Museum says about 1,800 Peoria Public School students visited on field trips last year. The new program will increase access to all of the district’s nearly 9,000 kids grades K-8, including Quest Charter Academy.

“This is just a fantastic opportunity for kids to really get hands-on experience and make what they learn in the classroom actually make sense,” Trewyn Principal Renee Andrews said.

Andrews says it opens a world for kids in low-income areas, in particular, who might not have the chance to venture outside their own zip code.

The Barton Family Foundation  provided the $250,000 contribution needed to launch the new program, which will provide each student a fully-funded field trip annually, for the next five years.

“The future of our community depends on these kids,” Foundation CEO Polly Barton said.