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Pender County Schools Receives Transportation and Educational Grant to Ensure all PCS 4th Graders Visit Moores Creek National Battlefield This School Year

Currie, NC- Pender County Schools, Moores Creek National Battlefield, and the Moores Creek Battleground Association partnered together and received a transportation and educational grant that will ensure all PCS 4th graders will have an opportunity to visit Southeastern North Carolina’s only National Park- Moores Creek National Battlefield, site of one of the first Patriot victories of the American Revolution. The grant covers all transportation costs and provides funding to create 10 educational “Traveling Trunks” which will be donated to all PCS elementary schools to be used by teachers and students for years to come; additional traveling trunks will be donated to Smart Start of Pender County and the Pender County Public Library. This project was made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of donors from across the country.

Through the grant, over 900 students, teachers, and parents/guardians will visit the park during the month of April as part of an educational resource immersion experience entitled “A Ticket to Ride into the Past” Colonial Heritage Program. Students will be treated to the sights, sounds, and smells of 18th Century North Carolina. Students will be exposed to various colonial trades and daily tasks such as blacksmithing, food and beverages, medicine, and toys and games. They will get a glimpse of military life within in an encampment and view the work of a citizen-soldier. Students will also gain a greater understanding of the choices those colonists had to make, including whether to remain loyal to the King or to seek independence, and the impacts the choices could have on their life. The program will finish with a guided tour of the battlefield.

The long-term goal of this program is to encourage Pender County Schools to adopt the park as an “outdoor classroom” and bring their students to the park annually. Additionally, the goal would be to grow the relationship to a three-touch system where all Pender County Schools’ students visit the park 3 times before they graduate – Elementary, Middle, and High School- gradually building an understanding of how this battle fits into the regional, state, and national picture of the Revolutionary War.

This program is also open to all local homeschoolers as well. Those interested can contact the Chief of Interpretation, Matthew Woods, to find out more information on dates and how they can take advantage of this great educational experience.

The park would like to thank Dr. Beth Metcalf, PCS Director of Elementary Student Learning, for working with park staff and park partners to make this grant possible for county students. Dr. Metcalf has been instrumental in the planning process and continues to work with park staff to make plans to expand this program.

Picture: Moores Creek National Battlefield’s Superintendent Ricardo Perez (R) and Chief of Interpretation Matthew Woods (L) stand with Dr. Beth Metcalf, Pender County Schools Director of Elementary Education.

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