Oneonta students visit DeSoto Caverns



Oneonta Elementary students of Nancy D. Hopewell were delighted when their teacher was awarded an $800 Target Field Trip Grant. This enabled the 17 third-grade students to take a trip to Childersburg’s DeSoto Caverns, located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

The grants are designed to help bring learning to life for students. Hopewell’s group was selected from more than 25,000 applicants from across the country.

With the nation’s schools facing increasing budget shortages each year, field trips are often one of the first elements eliminated from the curriculum. The Target Field Trip Grants Program, launched in September 2006, distributed 5000 grants totaling $4 million in funds this year to education professionals to help fill this gap.

Criteria for the selection of grant recipients include the description of the field trip and its objectives, the benefits to students, the tie-in to the school curriculum, the number of students who would be impacted, and the proposed use of funds. Funds may be used to cover cost of transportation, entry fees, supplies and equipment, and resource materials.

Applications for the 2009/2010 Target Field Trip Grants Program will be available online at
beginning in September 2009. Starting mid-March, teachers can visit the site to find a complete list of winners, field trip ideas, and free downloadable field trip resources.

Hopewell urges county teachers to use this program, as her students enjoyed their trip so much. She wants teachers to know about this source of funds for trips their students might otherwise not be able to afford.