Kids Discover the Trail! Trumansburg (KDT!)

Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover (TKED)

The TCSD Foundation coordinates and sustains the Kids Discover the Trail! Trumansburg (KDT!) program in the Trumansburg Central School District. This exciting program was launched with great success in 2010 sending all kindergarten through 5th grade students to a Discovery Trail site for a curriculum based learning experience. In 2011, TKED was extended to Pre-Kindergarten and 6th grade students.

KDT! is a joint effort of the Discovery Trail partnership, Trumansburg Central School District and the TCSD Foundation to provide curriculum-based learning experiences for Pre-K through 5th grade students at Discovery Trail member sites.

The Discovery Trail is a collaboration of the Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Plantations, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Museum of the Earth at PRI, Sciencenter, The History Center of Tompkins County, and Tompkins County Public Library. This Partnership maintains and promotes the Discovery Trail, a public linkage and co-marketing effort among Partnership members.

As part of KDT!, each Discovery Trail site offers an enrichment based field trip each school year to one of the eight Discovery Trail sites. Each student receives a take-home book to further the educational experience and sites that charge admission provide a coupon to visit with family at a later date. In addition to enhancing the school experience of every elementary school student with the field trip, pre-visits and follow-up activities, the program also expands the community awareness of the wonderful education opportunities available in the area.

Before 2010, the Ithaca City School District was the only school district participating in KDT! As a result of the generous support of it donors, the program was launched on March 1, 2010, as the Trumansburg kindergarten class visited the Tompkins County Public Library to enjoy a top notch program including instruction on the resources and functioning of the library.

The Discovery Trail

The Discovery Trail partnership of the Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Plantations, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Museum of the Earth at PRI, Sciencenter, The History Center of Tompkins County, and Tompkins County Public Library celebrated ten years of collaboration in 2009. Established in 1999, the partnership grew out of years of informal collaborations among museums and the public library in Tompkins County, New York, to provide a structure for ongoing synergy. At that time, the partnership received seed funding to hire a part-time coordinator and launch initial collaborative marketing efforts. The Discovery Trail was incorporated in 2007 and became a 501c3 in 2008.

Kids Discover the Trail! Trumansburg

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.

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 following are the KDT! programs by grade level:

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.

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.

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.

2ND GRADE Sciencenter. Power the Future. Students explore climate change & energy through demonstration & hands-on activities that address the need for alternative energy sources.

3RD GRADE Cornell Plantations. Wildflower Exploration: Children learn about the botany, ecology, life cycles and woodland habitats of our native wildflowers while gaining an appreciation of plants.

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.

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.

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.

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

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