LASALLE – School administrators and teachers throughout Grundy County are encouraged to participate in a new program that provides a hands-on history lesson.
The LaSalle Canal Boat field trip grant program has been announced by the Canal Corridor Association, according to a news release from the association. The grant program assists accredited pre-K through 12th-grade schools, all across northern Illinois, in funding a field trip to the LaSalle Canal Boat. Grant applications currently are being accepted for the 2014 season, which runs from April through November.
“The Canal Boat makes for a great field trip,” said Ana Koval, President/CEO of the Canal Corridor Association in a news releases. “As we look to the 30th anniversary of our national heritage corridor being designated as the nation’s first, it’s a great time for school students who live near it to learn the history of the canal.”
The field trip grant program could make a difference for many schools facing budget cutbacks, which often means field trips do not get planned.
“We’re fortunate to have corporations eager to support this great educational opportunity,” Koval said.
As the grants are provided on a first-ask, first-offered basis, Koval said the start of the new year is a good time to apply. School funding is based on a sliding scale according to the percentage of low-income students.
Students learn about the corridor’s history by experiencing actual travel on a mule-pulled canal boat, just like it was in 1848. The engaging experience includes a 15-minute mule-tending 101 class where students meet the mules that pull the historically accurate replica; a 60-minute ride narrated by a period-dressed guide and crew; a 30-minute guided silhouette walk introducing students to historical Illinois and Michigan canal figures, including Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, Wild Bill Hickock, Chief Shabonna and 10 other notables.
The estimated time on site at the LaSalle Canal Boat is two hours.
There is no deadline for the grant applications. Applications for the grant program can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 815-220-1848. Completed applications also can be returned to the LaSalle Canal Boat grant program at 754 First St. in LaSalle.