Grand Teton National Park has announced the implementation of a multi-year initiative focused on local “Class of 2016” students. In partnership with the Grand Teton Association and Jackson Hole High School, park staff will provide hands-on lessons and experiences for students throughout their high school years. Through the program, Grand Teton hopes to create opportunities for students to find meaningful experiences in their nearby national park and gain a better understanding of its significance. The program is also intended as part of the Park’s celebration of its centennial in 2016. Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says a kick-off event for the Class of 2016 initiative is scheduled for today when freshman students will be introduced a group of to park scientists, interpreters and climbing rangers. During this initial event, students will hike with a ranger and discuss the ecology of the park, explore the Craig Thomas Discovery Center’s exhibits and discover how this area became a national park. Skaggs says over the next four years, park staff will work with students to provide similar experiences to upcoming high school classes. At the same time, she says members from the Class of 2016 initiative will serve as mentors to their under-class peers.