Program helps underserved students explore Bay Area with field trips

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Students at a private high school in the South Bay will soon have to find a new place to learn. (KGO-TV )

A local program is giving students from underserved Bay Area schools a free and convenient trip from their classroom to the San Francisco Bay, and it involves a bus.

More than 40 kindergartners were getting ready for a field trip to the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39.

"We've got a group of kindergartners from a San Francisco school who came here today totally free of charge. Their bus is paid for. Their tickets are paid for, everything," said Carrie Chen, Aquarium of the Bay's director of education and conservation.

Bay.org and its subdivision, GoPlaces, takes students on a ride in their bright yellow bus. The bus takes them directly from the school to their destination, saving teachers and children a lot of steps.
"We would walk to the bus. Walk to the BART. BART to the blue train, which is complicated with 20 kids. So having this bus makes the trip safer, and much easier," says Elizabeth MacNab, a teacher.

GoPlaces' goal is to make it easier for teachers to teach, and students to learn about nature and science.

"It's like bringing education from the classroom outdoors. They get to see, feel and touch," said Sounyi Stamper.

Carrie Chen is the director of education and conservation at the Aquarium of the Bay. She says the students from underserved schools are chosen to go on these trips.

"We're really trying to focus on under-resourced, under-served schools, all around the Bay Area."

McNab is thankful.

"GoPlaces gave us this amazing gift by sending us this bus. It was an awesome trip because they gave us this bus," McNab said.

Written by Justin Mendoza

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