Recently awarded grant helps students see the stars from a new perspective at Sleeping Bear Dunes

What’s happening: Students visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will learn to look at the stars from a different perspective this 2023-24 school year, this thanks to a recently announced grant from the National Parks Foundation.

What it is: The grant will support the park’s Sharing Inclusive Star Stories program, which will teach students how different cultures viewed the night sky throughout history, including from the Anishinaabe perspective. Per the NPF, “With special focus on the Anishinaabe, the local Native Americans of the region, students will engage their senses to experience the visual, tactile, and auditory experiences that connect cultures with the stars, with accommodations for students with learning disabilities as well as those who may have hearing or visual impairments.”

Big picture: The Open OutDoors for Kids grants are awarded by the National Park Foundation, a grant program that first launched in 2011. This latest round of grantees totals $4.4 million awarded to 99 programs at National Parks throughout the country. Other Michigan parks to receive grants include Motorcities National Heritage Area, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

Why it’s important: "America's 425 national parks provide incredible opportunities for growth and meaningful connection with the country's cultural heritage," says National Parks service director Chuck Sams. "Children from Massachusetts to California and in between will continue to benefit from this investment, allowing students to experience unparalleled places of learning like Everglades National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area."

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