The TCSD Foundation is now working to sustain the Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover (TKED)
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. The TKED program has been extended to
Pre-Kindergarten and 6th grade students in 2011. Read more about the
TKED program below.
The Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover Program is an extension of The Kids Discover the Trail Program (KDT Program) to Trumansburg. The KDT Program is a joint effort of the Discovery Trail Partnership, Ithaca Central School District and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative 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 the KDT Program, each Discovery Trail site provides an educator that visits the school and works with teachers to develop a lesson plan relating the Discovery Trail site to the school curriculum. After the site visit, students work on a project relating to their visit and receive a follow up visit by the site educator. In addition to enhancing the school experience of every elementary school student with these 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 operating the KDT Program. As a result of the generous support of it donors, the TKED 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. To date TCSD Foundation has generated sufficient support for participation of Kindergarten through 5th grades. Full participation of grades Pre-K through 5 is anticipated once adequate funding is obtained. In the future, and subject to additional funding, the TCSD Foundation would like to extend the TKED Program to 6th - 8th grades.
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.
The partnership maintains and promotes the Discovery Trail, a visible public
linkage and co-marketing effort among the partnership's eight members.
To date, the Discovery Trail has pursued its goals through collaborative
programming; a website (www.discoverytrail.com); development and distribution
of more than 30,000 brochures annually in Tompkins County, Southern Tier,
Syracuse, and Rochester; participation in community-wide events; a biannual
visitor survey and subsequent focus groups with community leaders and local
citizens to analyze visitor data; and media coverage through editorial pieces,
press releases, public service announcements, and advertising. The partnership
carries out joint events, programs, and exhibitions. Examples include "A
Special Place: Landscapes of Tompkins County" (2000), "Frankenstein" with
community read (2002), "Discovery Month" (2003, 2004), "Light
in Winter" (2004), Tompkins County Public Library Avenue of the Friends
(April 2009 and 2010), as well as marching in the annual Ithaca Festival
parade. The partnership coordinator works closely with the Tompkins County
Convention & Visitors Bureau in all aspects of regional marketing.
The Discovery Trail partnership is currently funded through Discovery Trail
member contributions and the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Board. Past
contributions from the Triad Foundation and Community Foundation of Tompkins
County played a vital role in the beginning years of the collaboration.
The Tompkins County Public Library serves as the partnership's fiscal
In 2005 the Discovery Trail entered into a collaboration with the Ithaca
Public Education Initiative (IPEI) and Ithaca City School District (ICSD)
to form Kids Discover the Trail! (KDT!). KDT! connects the eight ICSD elementary
schools with the eight Discovery Trail sites by providing curriculum-based
field trips and site-specific books to take home for all pre-K to fifth
grade students. This program is funded by gifts from local foundations,
businesses, and community members, and is supported by ICSD. For more information
Kids Discover the Trail
The Kids Discover the Trail Program (KDT Program) is a program developed by a joint effort of the Discovery Trail Partnership, Ithaca Central School District and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative(IPEI) that provides curriculum-based learning experiences and site-specific books to take home for
all Ithaca City School District (ICSD) students in grades Pre-K through 5. The
program includes pre-trip visits by Discovery Trail educators and field trip
transportation funded by gifts from local foundations, businesses, and
community members, and is supported by ICSD. Program goals are to: enhance
school experience through curriculum-based learning, provide equal access to
Discovery Trail sites, promote understanding and respect among elementary
students from different neighborhoods and expand community awareness of the
resources of the Discovery Trail. Visit http://www.kidsdiscoverthetrail.org/index.html
for more information.After the site visit, students work on a project relating to their visit
and receive a follow up visit by the site educator. In addition to
enhancing the school experience of every elementary school student with
these activities, the program also expands the community awareness of
the wonderful education opportunities available in the area. Until 2010, the Ithaca City School District was the only school district participating in the KDT Program.
Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover
In our efforts to bring the KDT Program to Trumansburg, in May 2009 directors of the TCSD Foundation met representatives of the Discovery Trail, Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), and Trumansburg Central School District for preliminary discussions regarding extending the KDT Program to Trumansburg. These efforts and the tremendous support we have received for this program, allowed our Board to commit to funding the launch of our KDT Program – the Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover program for the Kindergarten through Sixth grades in 2010. The 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 the 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.
The 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 the TKED Program 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 will be exposed to a wonderful educational resource while they study their standard lesson plans. Standard lessons are enhanced by providing students with real world examples, application of lessons and materials, 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 the TKED Program year after 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. We have received overwhelming support from school administration, teachers and students based on their first trip. The children seemed to enjoy the initial trip to the Library as well as the Library Lion, the book they were given to keep, provided by the Family Reading Partnership and the Trumansburg Elementary PTO. The initial implementation of the program has been a success. Future success will be determined by our ability to fully fund the program, to expand the program to grades 6 through 8, and to assist other school districts to join this program.
The following are the Discovery Trail Programs by grade level for 2011:
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.
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.
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.
Sciencenter. Power the
Future: Students explore climate change & energy through demonstration
& hands-on activities that address the need for alternative energy sources.
Exploration: Children learn about the botany, ecology, life cycles and woodland
habitats of our native wildflowers while gaining an appreciation of plants.
The History Center in Tompkins County. 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
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.
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
The Trumansburg Kids Explore & Discover Program is made possible through the generous support of:
Ancient Wisdom Productions, Inc.
Art & Anthropology, Inc.
Brooks Family Foundation
Community Foundation of Tompkins County
Cayuga Nature center
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
History Center in Tompkins County
Johnson Museum of Art
Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County
Miller Mayer Donor Advised Fund
Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution
Trumansburg Elementary School PTO
Trumansburg Middle School PTO
Tompkins County Public Library
Tompkins Trust Company