CVSR Provides Unique Educational Opportunities in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

CVSR Provides Unique Educational Opportunities in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Educational programming is a key component of CVSR’s mission.  In collaboration with the National Park Service, CVSR provides a unique “moving classroom” experience for school-age children, preschool through eighth grade, on board the train to more than 8,000 students each year. Participants have the unique opportunity to travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park; national parks are dynamic learning environments often referred to as “America’s largest classrooms.” Students learn about local wildlife, the Cuyahoga Valley, the history of transportation, and the struggles and triumphs of the Underground Railroad, among other topics. Curriculum is tied to Ohio Learning Standards for Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts and Literacy.

CVSR strives to ensure that finances aren’t a barrier from participation in these programs for students from school districts with financial constraints. Thanks to the support of our members, donors and foundations, CVSR subsidized the costs associated with tickets and busing to and from the boarding site for 1,944 students from 24 different schools and organizations in Cuyahoga and Summit counties from March through May 2017. At an average cost of $10 per student, this translates into nearly $20,000 invested in providing this unique educational experience to students who may otherwise never get the opportunity to ride a train or visit a national park.

Here are some testimonials from schools who received subsidized trips in the spring of 2017:

“We were able to take three classes of students with special needs on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This was an opportunity that most of our children would never have been able to do without your help. Our students benefited from talking with the community volunteers about animals and the students were provided with a great opportunity for socializing with peers and adults.”

– Barber CLC

“Thank you so much for the generous funding for the opportunity to attend a field trip on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. [Our school] is a high poverty school and it’s very difficult to attend high quality field trips due to the lack of funds. Prior to this field trip, not one of the students had been on a train ride. Learning about the Underground Railroad provided the students with invaluable information about our country’s past.”

– David Hill CLC

“Thank you for the delightful and educational train ride through the Cuyahoga Valley. The children were so engaged in the beautiful scenery and looking for the “Eagle’s Nest.” They also enjoyed the stories of the different animals with visual and physical contact with the fur of those animals. It was an exciting time and for some, their very first time riding on a train.”

– YWCA Greater Cleveland

CVSR gratefully acknowledges the following funders for supporting our 2017 education programs:

  • ArcelorMittal
  • The Henry V. and Frances W. Christenson Foundation
  • Cleveland Automobile Club Orphans Outing Fund
  • Maud De La Porte
  • Mark and Robin Kirk Family Fund
  • The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
  • The Sisler McFawn Foundation
  • The Welty Family Foundation

We invite you to make a donation to CVSR’s Education Fund to enable CVSR to continue to provide a unique and accessible learning experience outside of the classroom. Thank you for your support!


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Lynee Bixler