San Diego, California - San Diego Zoo Global announced today that it is the recipient of the largest education gift in its history. The gift of $6 million comes from the Price Family Charitable Fund and is designated to provide a permanent endowment for San Diego Zoo Global’s education programs for Title 1 schools in San Diego County.

“Hands-on learning is one of the most important opportunities we can provide for our students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “It’s engaging, it’s relevant and it’s fun, all of which combine in a way that really connects young people with their education. It’s wonderful to see partners in all sectors coming together to invest in our kids, their futures and the future of our state.”

The federal Title 1 designation identifies those schools that include a significant population of children from underprivileged families.  There are more than 500 Title 1 schools in San Diego County. The donation will expand San Diego Zoo Global’s existing free educational programs to include 4th grade students, adding as many as 45,000 more students each year. This new program is designed to meet all Next Generation Science Standards and serves as a model for inquiry-based education initiatives.

The grant from the Price Family Charitable Fund will add to San Diego Zoo Global’s free and discount education programs that include: Life Cycles for second-grade students, EnviroSchool, and Stream Team Stewards.

“This transformative donation will allow us to do additional in-school assemblies focusing on water conservation and native wildlife and San Diego County ecosystems,” said Doug Myers, president and CEO for San Diego Zoo Global. “We already host more than 275,000 schoolchildren each year and are delighted at the opportunity to increase our conservation education.”

The donation also provides funding for bus transportation to programs for 4th grade students on site at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. In addition, the donation funds the new Price Education Center a permanent headquarters for all programs focused on disadvantaged students, including the successful School in the Park program, which has visited Balboa Park for decades.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.