Field Trip Day for Adult Literacy Students
On November 30, 2017, about 150 students from twelve classes in CPC’s Education and Career Services Adult Literacy Program visited several of Manhattan's major cultural sites. One large group visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, another visited the American Museum of Natural History, and a third visited the New York Public Library Main Branch, Bryant Park, and Times Square along 42nd Street.
Through the Adult Literacy Program classes, students learn English literacy skills supplemented with civic engagement and an understanding of American and New York culture. Prior to the museum visit, students chose which of the three sites most interested them. Social media chat rooms were created for each group of students to share thoughts, information, and directions throughout the trip and afterwards.
On the trip, students were encouraged to take pictures of sites that they found interesting and post them into their respective field trip group's chat. Instructors also provided a list of specific elements at their respective sites to photograph in an activity modeled on classic scavenger hunts. At the American Museum of Natural History, students explored the various dinosaur, animal, and space exhibits. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, students learned about Egyptian tombs, medieval European art, American painters, and took pictures of Asian statues. At the New York Public Library, many of the students registered for library cards.
These field trips were part of an initiative to hold field trips among the students in all of the Adult Literacy Program classes. By participating in this learning outside of academic orthodoxy, beyond the confines of both the classroom and the class, the students are encouraged to connect with their peers and instructors, as well as peers and instructors from other classes. For many students, this was their first time outside of their familiar surroundings. By participating in these activities, students also gained a better understanding of New York City and its many cultural institutions.