• Association of Zoos and Aquariums bestows prestigious education award to WCS affiliated public school
  • U.S. Rep. José E. Serrano acknowledges achievement

Bronx, NY – Sept. 22, 2010 – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums awarded its top honor in the field of education to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. The award was presented at a ceremony at the AZA Annual Conference in Houston, Texas.

“Education is a responsibility that WCS takes very seriously, and the success of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation is one example of WCS’s broader education program,” said Dr. Robert Cook, WCS Executive Vice President of Living Institutions.  “It is thrilling to see our wildlife parks used in a way that gives kids and families in urban neighborhoods the unique opportunity to learn about and practice different aspects of conservation science.”
U.S. Rep. José Serrano, who has been a strong advocate of the school, said, “The Bronx Zoo has always helped to educate and enrich the lives of the young people of the Bronx. Programs like the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation show that collaboration and hard work can produce outstanding educational results anywhere in our country.”

In 2007, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Education and two community-based not-for-profits (Urban Assembly and the Phipps Community Development Corporation), WCS opened the first-ever public school that uses wildlife conservation as a central theme.
The school is located in District 12 in the Bronx where more than 80 percent of children under 17 years old live in poverty. The partnership with WCS’s Bronx Zoo allows students access to academic experiences that otherwise might not be available to them.
The Urban Assembly School uses WCS’s Bronx Zoo as an extended classroom to engage middle and high school students in learning across the curriculum. Through a variety of programs, both at the school and the zoo, students are provided with opportunities to move toward a career in conservation or wildlife science, or to simply become better informed citizens with regard to important environmental issues that impact their community, nation, and planet.

In FY’09, 350,948 children visited the Bronx Zoo through school or camp. An additional 100,000 school children attend formal programming with the WCS Education Department.
Donald Lisowy, WCS Director of Education said, “We are ecstatic that the AZA chose to honor the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Conservation Society is committed to providing the community with the highest quality educational resources and helping to create the next generation of conservation stewards. This award pays tribute not only to the school and its staff, but to the students, families, and community whose hard work and support have made the school successful.”

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org 

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.