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NEW JERSEY'S ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL DISCOVER THEIR STATE WITH A PASSPORT TO NEW JERSEY

 NEW JERSEY'S ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL DISCOVER THEIR STATE
 WITH A PASSPORT TO NEW JERSEY
 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Passport to New Jersey, a six-week program combining in-state tourism with a statewide essay contest and an in-store promotion at the state's 196 McDonald's restaurants, was introduced today by New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism Director Eugene Dilbeck at the Governor's Conference on Tourism at the Sheraton Meadowlands.
 Passport to New Jersey, an exciting educational adventure for the state's kindergarten through sixth graders, will introduce students and their families to the wealth of unique tourism attractions found in the state. The program, which runs from April 1 through May 15, is designed to encourage in-state tourism, promote interest in New Jersey among the students and their families, and increase awareness of and interest in the state's many historical and cultural attractions.
 Joining the Division of Travel & Tourism in sponsoring Passport To New Jersey are McDonald's, New Jersey Bell Yellow Pages, Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) and Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L). The program has also been endorsed by the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Education Association.
 "While Passport To New Jersey is being introduced in the classroom, the program was developed as a family learning experience," Dilbeck pointed out. "It will give students and their families the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the history and culture of their state through visits to museums, interpretive centers, working farms and other sites. The attractions participating in the program have been selected for their educational value and the opportunity they provide students and their families to be together and learn together outside of the classroom."
 Begins April 1
 On April 1, nearly one million specially-designed passports describing the Passport To New Jersey program and listing participating attractions will be distributed to public elementary school students throughout the state. Students visiting any of the 65 participating attractions receive free or discounted admission and, when their passports are stamped at any two, they become eligible to enter a statewide essay contest in which they will describe what they discovered with the Passport To New Jersey. Three essay contest winners (one each in grade brackets K-2, 3-4 and 5-6) will each receive a $500 savings bond and other prizes at a Statehouse press conference in June.
 The passport also features a McDonald's bonus coupon which, when validated at one attraction, can be redeemed at any participating McDonald's for a free cheeseburger, french fries and child-size soda.
 "McDonald's has a longstanding commitment to giving something back to the communities in which we do business, particularly by supporting youth and education," said Sam Rabinowitz, owner of McDonald's restaurants in Huffville and Blackwood, N.J. "Passport To New Jersey will make a difference in many children's lives by stimulating an interest in discovery."
 "The most important aspect of the Passport To New Jersey program is that it teaches students to take pride in the great state of New Jersey," added Bernie Reedy, the owner of McDonald's restaurants in Scotch Plains and West Orange, N.J. "And we at McDonald's are honored to be part of that process."
 Enriching the Classroom Experience
 Passport To New Jersey provides an opportunity for teachers to incorporate New Jersey culture and history into the classroom and to enrich the school curriculum by bringing studies, particularly history and science, to life.
 "The more informed a populace we have, the more they will appreciate and understand what makes New Jersey unique," Dilbeck noted. "That understanding will eventually be expanded beyond the parameters of the program as students take pride in their state and tell others what they discovered about New Jersey."
 Passports with contest rules and a list of attractions will be distributed at public elementary schools and will be available at participating McDonald's while supplies last. For more information on the Passport To New Jersey program, contact Mara Barlow at 609-633-7287, or Rick Sacks at 201-539-0300.
 -0- 3/25/92
 /CONTACT: Mara Barlow of New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism, 609-633-7287; or Sue Riccardelli of Poppe Tyson, Inc., 201-539-0300, for New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism/ CO: New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism ST: New Jersey IN: SU:


SH-KW -- NY044 -- 1551 03/25/92 13:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 25, 1992
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