Wilderness Youth Project Launches “Bridge to Nature” Fundraiser

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(Santa Barbara, CA) -- Wilderness Youth Project is proud to announce a community fundraising campaign to raise $250,000, Bridge to Nature, to bring nature connection opportunities to underserved public schools in Santa Barbara.  An anonymous donor has already offered to match community donations dollar for dollar up to $125,000.  

Dan Fontaine, Executive Director of Wilderness Youth Project, said, “Time in nature with a mentor makes students smarter, healthier and happier. A fully funded Bridge to Nature program ensures that underserved public school students have access to the incredible natural resources found in Santa Barbara and the real world lessons they teach.”

What is the Bridge to Nature School Day Program?

Bridge to Nature provides a 4-hour nature-based mentoring program for students in 4th grade. Students go out once a month during four hours of class time for hands-on, student-centered learning, relevant real world problem-solving, inquiry, and interaction with the natural world.

Teacher Michael Macioce of Adelante Charter school writes, “One reason we are “moving the needle” on test scores is because of our commitment to student engagement and experiential education, especially in the STEM subjects. As we implement Common Core and a focus on process, Wilderness Youth Project helps us to provide the real life inspiration and information these students need to learn.”

Amy Alzina, principal at Adams Elementary School, writes: “Wilderness Youth Project has sparked new hope and an excitement for learning in our students. These at-risk students are experiencing “success” for the first time in their lives. Their self-confidence and motivation to learn is more than I could have ever hoped for. This love for learning is what we as educators strive to achieve in all of our children.”

In short, nature-based education for at-risk children provides essential building blocks for success, for closing achievement and enrichment gaps and for cultivating a generation of stewards of our local environment. 

The Bridge to Nature campaign runs until November 4, 2017. To donate or for more information, go to wyp.org/bridge-to-nature

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