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Reading with a Ranger

Gateway Arch Park Foundation supports education at and around Gateway Arch National Park in a variety of ways.

Journey Fund

The Journey Fund exists to ensure that every child can experience and enjoy Gateway Arch National Park.

Since its inception in 2019, the Journey Fund has brought more than 5,800 students and educators to the Arch grounds, subsidizing transportation, meals, and activities like Tram Rides to the Top, the “Monument to the Dream” documentary film, and riverboat excursions. The Journey Fund has also supported professional development opportunities at the park for educators. 

In 2022 as field trips surged back, demand for the Journey Fund surged with it. Gateway Arch Park Foundation funded more than 30 visits for 1,953 students and educators from Title I schools and under-resourced youth groups in 2022—an increase of 257% individuals over 2021—with 79% of those students qualifying for free or reduced lunches.

2023 saw yet another increase in demand for the Journey Fund, which welcomed 2,298 students and educators over 39 visits - a 17% increase from 2022 - with 82% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. 

Thank you to the Regional Business Council for providing the initial and continued funding to launch this program, with support from AT&T, Great Southern Bank, First Bank, and Bi-State Development. 

Paddle Your Park

Another popular program for students from Title I and under-served communities returned in 2022 after a multi-year hiatus — Paddle Your Park. Hosted by the National Park Service with other community partners, this program serves fourth graders and encourages the students to get outside to learn about biodiversity, endangered species, wetland science and the importance of caring for the environment.

With the Foundation's support, on Oct. 6, 2022, about 210 local fourth graders participated, and on May 9-10, 2023, approximately 240 students participated.

A special thank you to the Regional Business Council for supporting this program.

Reading with a Ranger

In 2022, we partnered with Gateway Arch National Park in the month of June to offer eight sessions of Reading with a Ranger.

The free program invited children and families to visit the park to receive a copy of a meaningful, themed children’s book, read it together with a park ranger, engage in group discussion and then do a related activity.

Nearly 100 children participated, with an average age of 7 (second grade), representing 13 cities and more than 40 zip codes.

This program was generously supported by Great Southern Bank’s Community Matters program.

Student looking out window at top of Gateway Arch
Paddle Your Park students canoeing, Oct. 2022
Paddle Your Park students engaged in discussion, Oct. 2022
Journey Fund group in 2022, looking at Gateway Arch from riverboat