Kids Discover the Trail!

In this exciting program, launched in 2010, the TCSD Foundation sends all Trumansburg students from Pre-K through 6th grade to a different Discovery Trail site each year for a curriculum based learning experience. KDT! is a joint effort of the Discovery Trail partnership, Trumansburg Central School District and the TCSD Foundation. Students return home from the field trips with a take home book and a coupon for a later family visit. Special thanks to the Elementary School PTO and Middle School PTO for funding the books.

Discovery Trail Site Visits

Pre-kindergarten: Johnson Museum of Art

Animals in Art: Students study animals in painting and sculpture from African, Asian, Indian and European cultures, learning how the works were made and stories related to the pieces.
Book:  Matthew’s Dream by Leo Lionni
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art KDT Flyer

Kindergarten: Tompkins County Public Library

Books about Friendship & Family: The joy of reading comes alive at the library when students listen to stories, learn how to use a library, and receive a library card application to take home.
Book: The Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra
Tompkins County Public Library KDT Flyer

1st Grade: Museum Of The Earth At PRI

Dinosaur Science: Students explore how scientists study ancient life, using hands-on dinosaur specimens as the basis for questions and discussion.
Book: Fossils Tell of Long Ago by Aliki
Museum of the Earth KDT Flyer

2nd Grade: Sciencenter

Power the Future. Students explore climate change & energy through demonstration & hands-on activities that address the need for alternative energy sources.
Book: Energy Island by Allan Drummond
Sciencenter KDT Flyer

3rd Grade: Cornell Botanical Garden

Wildflower Exploration: Children learn about the botany, ecology, life cycles and woodland habitats of our native wildflowers while gaining an appreciation of plants.
Book: Wildflowers: A Peterson First Guide, by Roger Tory Peterson
Cornell Botanical Gardens KDT Flyer

4th Grade: The History Center In Tompkins County’s Eight-square Schoolhouse

Students learn about local history and how children lived prior to the Industrial Revolution by attending school for a day in the Eight Square one room schoolhouse.
Book: The Secret School by Avi
History Center KDT Flyer

5th Grade: Cornell Lab Of Ornithology

Exploring Habitats: Students explore the varied habitat at Sapsucker Woods and discover how birds rely on their habitat for the things they need to survive.
Book: Peterson First Guide To Birds of North America by Roger Tory Peterson
Cornell Lab of Ornithology KDT Flyer

6th Grade: Cayuga Nature Center

Ropes Course and Environmental Stewardship: Outdoor adventure teaches environmental respect and importance of team building to help students learn to work together in preparation for middle school.
Book: The Climb by Gordon Korman
Cayuga Nature Center KDT Flyer


In our efforts to bring KDT! to Trumansburg, directors of the TCSD Foundation met representatives of the Discovery Trail, Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), and Trumansburg Central School District for preliminary discussions in May 2009. These efforts and the tremendous support we have received for this program, allowed our Board to commit to funding the launch of our KDT! – Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover.  TCSD Foundation’s priority is to provide opportunities for teachers to enhance student education by having curriculum based lessons and experiences at the Discovery Trail sites. On a long term basis the TCSD Foundation expects the relationships we establish through participation in Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover to enhance educational opportunities for Trumansburg students and to foster personal growth and encourage excellence in students and educators in the Trumansburg Central School District.

Positive Outcomes

Students are exposed to a wonderful educational resource while they study their standard lesson plans. Lessons are enhanced by providing students with real world examples and an alternative learning environment. Once the students have been exposed to the Discovery Trail sites, teachers can encourage them to use resources from these sites, including Discovery Trail member websites as additional learning tools. Coordination of KDT! each school year will also provide teachers with an opportunity to continually develop a range of curriculum based tools and initiatives to bring the standard curriculum to students in our district.

The success of the program is determined largely from the administration, teachers, students and community feedback. Future success will be determined by our ability to annually fund the program and to assist other school districts as KDT! expands to the rest of Tompkins County.


The KDT! Trumansburg Program is made possible through the generous support of:

  • Ancient Wisdom Productions, Inc.
  • Art & Anthropology, Inc.
  • Borg Warner
  • Brooks Family Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Tompkins County
  • Cayuga Nature center
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Cornell Plantations
  • Discovery Trail
  • History Center in Tompkins County
  • Howland Foundation
  • Johnson Museum of Art
  • Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County
  • Miller Mayer Donor Advised Fund
  • Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution
  • Park Foundation
  • Sciencenter
  • Triad Foundation
  • Trumansburg Elementary School PTO
  • Trumansburg Middle School PTO
  • Tompkins County Public Library
  • Tompkins Trust Company