Akron Public Schools and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are partnering to teach students about marketing and media.
Officials from Akron Public Schools, the National Park Service, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the United Way of Summit County announced the partnership Friday morning at Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
CVNP will become a named integrated partner in the College and Career Academies of Akron at Ellet High School, with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the National Park Service offering instructional support and real-world learning opportunities in marketing and media, according to a news release. The academy will be named the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Academy of Global Media and Marketing.
The College and Career Academies will roll out next year to all high school students in the district. Through the academies, students will choose from one of more than 50 pathways to focus their education.
Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said the relationship between Akron Public Schools and the Cuyahoga Valley dates to the 1930s, when Akron schoolchildren attended camp at Happy Days Lodge in Boston Heights. He said the academy will help students prepare for their futures.
Ellet High School Principal Michelle Marquess-Kearns said the partnership will allow more students to experience the park, with students learning "the most important lesson of all — learning is not confined to the four walls of a classroom,” she said a prepared statement.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel said the National Park Service is a learning institution with 418 campuses, calling the resources of the national parks "extensions of the classroom."
Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park CEO Deb Yandala said the partnership builds on a long relationship with Akron Public Schools to provide learning experiences for students.
"We are pleased to connect students with all that it has to offer,” she said of the park, calling it "a national treasure" and "a tremendous resource for our region."
The partnership was formed with the help of United Way of Summit County, which links the College and Career Academies of Akron and local businesses to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and strengthen the education to employment pipeline in Summit County.
“By investing in the education of our future citizens and leaders, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is making an important contribution to the future of Greater Akron,” United Way of Summit County President and CEO Jim Mullen said in a prepared statement. “They have committed to doing in our schools what they already do in our parks — nurture our local resources for the benefit of our entire community.”
According to the school district, the integrated partners provide students with workplace experiences, industry field trips, internships, summer enrichment programs, problem-based learning and "innovative design projects that will extend learning beyond the classroom."
Some other "named integrated partners" for the district's College and Career Academies include Akron Children's Hospital, Bridgestone Americas, Kent State University, KeyBank and Summa Health.
Emily Mills can be reached at 330-996-3334, firstname.lastname@example.org and @EmilyMills818.