Elementary School - Explorers

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The Explorers program works with 3rd through 5th grade students and teachers from Richmond Public Schools. Students explore the Richmond area’s natural environments, including Belle Isle, Pocahontas State Park, and Shalom Farms. The Explorers curriculum includes hands-on science SOL instruction, team building, and a focus on respect for one another and the environment.

Program History

In 2008, this program began in partnership with Oak Grove-Bellemeade and Chimborazo Elementary Schools. For two years, committed Blue Sky volunteers, teachers, and 3rd grade students met one Saturday a month to discover more about themselves and their environment. In 2010, the schools identified a need to address low performance on Virginia Science SOL tests and partnered with Blue Sky to meet this need with creative, hands-on, experiential learning.

Blue Sky began offering the Explorers program as a field-trip for 3rd grade students. The program has since grown to engage over 2,000 3rd through 5th grade students from the following partner schools:

  • Bellevue ES
  • Blackwell ES
  • Chimborazo ES
  • Fairfield Court ES
  • George W. Carver ES
  • Henry L. Marsh III ES
  • Miles Jones ES
  • Oak Grove-Bellemeade ES
  • Overby-Sheppard ES
  • Swansboro ES
  • Westover Hills ES
  • Woodville ES

Explorers is funded in part by the CarMax Foundation, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Herndon Foundation, Memorial Foundation for Children, Richmond Kiwanis Foundation, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, Shelton H. Short, Jr. Trust, and the Virginia Environmental Endowment.

Sign My Program Waiver / Llene el Documento de Exención

“My students enjoyed the natural environment, as few of them have had this type of exposure.”

- 2nd Grade Bellevue Elementary Teacher.

“The lessons were all interrelated to curriculum previously or currently taught, so will be referred to [in the classroom].”

- 5th Grade George Mason Elementary Teacher.

“I loved this field experience, and so did the students - they were engaged the entire time.”

- 2nd Grade Chimborazo Elementary School Teacher.


Check out photos of the Explorers program from previous years!