The National Park Foundation awarded $504,000 in grants to 28 national parks across the United States and the Virgin Islands, including one in West Virginia, through its Park Stewards Program.
The Park Steward Program, now in its sixth year, gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore the relevance of national parks to their lives. In addition, two students from each grantee school team will be selected for summer internships that will help support and grow their interest in national parks and the National Park Service.
"This program will provide an introduction to national parks for many children and foster lifelong connections," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Through a series of engaging educational, recreational and volunteer experiences, the teachers and their students will get the chance to really immerse themselves in the park's resources."
The Mountain State’s Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in the Eastern Panhandle was one of the recipients. Several neighboring states house grantees as well, including two in Ohio, two in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania.
University of Phoenix is now serving in its third year as the program's official educational sponsor.
"University of Phoenix is proud to once again support the National Park Foundation in helping build future generations of national park enthusiasts and supporters," said Pat Gottfried, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix. "We welcome the opportunity to continue to reinforce this commitment through our support of the National Park Foundation and the teachers and students it impacts."
Subaru of America also contributed to the program.
The 2014 Park Stewards grantees are: