The Papillion-La Vista (PLV) Zoo Academy program at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo takes a unique approach to non-traditional learning by getting kids out of the classroom and giving them the chance to get their hands dirty (literally and figuratively). The Zoo Academy proves that thinking outside the box about education can really pay off.
Established by a partnership between Papillion-La Vista School District (PLSD) and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, around 120 PLSD students join the Henry Doorly Zoo staff, working with the animals and learning about the different aspects of running a zoo, in addition to a full curriculum that includes English, Social Studies, Science and Math. One of the key benefits of such a unique program is its ability to engage students who may not be as comfortable in a traditional classroom setting. The program makes the curriculum relevant and makes it easier for students to gain 21st century skills, real life work experience, and a better understanding of how what they’re learning will benefit them in their life after high school.