The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) proudly announces that, thanks to the generosity of the Sierra Club Foundation, more area elementary school students will have access to outdoor education programs during 2010.
The Sierra Club Building Bridges to the Outdoors Project is awarding a grant of $20,000 to the Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center, a residential environmental education school which is located in the Eldorado National Forest and operated by SCOE.
Building Bridges to the Outdoors is a joint project of the Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation. The funding will be used to reduce program fees for participating schools, allowing more students to attend and benefit from Sly Park programs and ensure that more local youth have the opportunity to connect with nature and the outdoors.
"Thanks to the Sierra Club Foundation's generosity, more families will be able to send their children on a very meaningful and memorable outdoor education trip," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. "With this funding, hundreds of area students will benefit from the hands-on, outdoor education experience that Sly Park offers."
All participating schools in the Sacramento County region will receive a tuition discount and be required to participate in a Community Service Learning Project to fulfill grant requirements.
"We have seen, in many low income schools, a dip in the numbers of children who are able to attend our school, mainly due to cost," said Sly Park Director Phil Romig. "Now we will be able to increase the number of underserved children who attend Sly Park by providing enough of a financial incentive for families."
The Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center is located approximately fifty miles east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The environmental education program teaches 5th and 6th grade students about the world in which they live. Students actively engage in field studies, learning about the forest ecosystem and the importance of conservation to our future. Credentialed teachers provide an instructional program to over 8,000 elementary students each year.
Sly Park partners besides The Sierra Club include the U.S. Forest Service, Safeway, American Legion, Sac Traditional Jazz Society, EDCOE, All West Coach Lines, CA Native Plant Society, and the Eldorado National Forest. For more information about this program call (916) 228-2485.