A strategic goal of the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory is to expand outreach for their school tour program to underserved communities. Recently, they have been working to fine-tune a new Tour Grant Program that will cover the per-person cost of tours for students coming from public schools in areas that neighbor Oak Park, such as Berwyn and Cicero. The program is now ready to pilot and their first school is registered!
This fall, The Friends will host a group of 5th graders from a public school in Cicero for a guided school tour. Many of their students have never been on a field trip or visited the Oak Park Conservatory. Their teacher is an inspiration, aiming to plan a field trip once a month so her students can expand their horizons at museums and cultural institutions. The school is not permitted to ask the families for money to cover the cost of these trips, but The Friends’ Tour Grant made their docent-guided tour possible.
The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory are happy to get this program up and running, as it was on hold for two years due to COVID. “It is deeply satisfying to know we are helping these kids learn about climate, plant life, and geography as they visit the local Oak Park Conservatory,” they say. Their goal is to bring 250 students through the grant program this year, and they are off to a good start!
For more information about tours, volunteer opportunities, supporting The Friends financially, or becoming a member, please visit fopcon.org.
The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory