Generous donations continue to help Inside the Outdoors inspire young students to explore their inner scientist in nature’s classroom.
In addition to our core programs – Outdoor Science School, Traveling Scientist and Field Trips – students are increasingly taking the science lessons they learn and putting them into action to help inspire other students and tackle real-world issues. They’re doing so through Inside the Outdoors’ Service-Learning projects.
While a student at Brea-Olinda High School, Briana was inspired to start a campus group focused on environmental stewardship. Under her leadership, that club instituted a campus-wide recycling program, replanted native vegetation after a devastating fire, built a school garden and took the lead in a recently created Youth Stewardship Council, which is recruiting environmentally conscious students from across the region to seek solutions for local environmental issues.
Briana passed on what she learned to younger, like-minded students. But her efforts didn’t stop upon graduation from high school. Far from it. She’s now in college studying environmental law with the hope of someday having a positive effect on shaping environmental policy.
This month, Briana will be a featured speaker presenting information about her efforts during an Earth Day webinar broadcast to thousands of Disney cast members around the globe.
Your donations similarly can inspire a single student or an entire class. Thank you for checking out more about what we do at insidetheoutdoors.org and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ITOFoundation.
As 2013 approaches I look back over this past year at all that we have accomplished. In 2012 we served over 125,000 students and teachers through our Field Trips, Outdoor Science School, and Traveling Scientist programs. Over 50% of those students were able to attend because of sponsorships they were given from individuals like you. These students were given the experience of nature and in some sparked an interest that will never leave them. These students are our future engineers, scientists, businessmen and women, teachers and much more. Sometimes this is the only experience with nature students may get. For these students the experience means so much more. It is because of them that we do the work we do.
"I thought the field trip was fun especially the gopher snake and "Oreo" the rat, but the best part was hiking and finding out the wonderful sights and smells of nature." - Pablo, 4th grader
"Thank you for everything! I had a great time and I finally experienced what it's like to be outdoors! I'll never forget the smell of the cabin and more importantly the smell of the mountains, the river, the grass and the whole atmosphere of it." - Eddie, 6th grader
"My favorite part of taking my students to Outdoor Science School is to see their eyes light up with excitement for what they are learning and watch as their minds open. Thank you for giving them this wonderful experience!" - Sarah, 6th grade teacher
As the year is coming to a close please consider making a tax deductible donation to help send a student or a whole class to an Inside the Outdoors Program.
"Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education." - David Polis, Environmentalist
This is something to keep in mind as our children head back to school with the start of the new year. Each year Inside the Outdoors serves approximately 150,000 students, teachers, and community members throughout Southern California. Over 60% of the students attending ITO programs are from low income families and receive sponsorships to participate. That is roughly 90,000 students a year counting on the generous support of others to give them the experience of the outdoors. For many, attending an ITO program is their first experience in nature; going to the beach, the mountains, seeing the starry night sky, playing in the snow, walking through a creek, and much, much more! The experience, knowledge, and friendships gained stays with these students for a long time. Most of the adults that we connect with can remember their experience with outdoor ed. when they were kids! This just proves the impact that being outdoors in a learning environment can have on a person.
With the continued cuts to education, opportunities such as the ones ITO provide get less and less for students. Schools and teachers depend more on outside agencies and individuals to help them continue to give the students the same experiences that the students before them received. This is where ITO and its supporters can step in. With your support we are able to give students the opportunity to learn and grow from the outdoors, experiences that last a lifetime.
Thank you for your continued support! And...
"Let your walks now be a little more adventurous." - Henry David Thoreau
One of our goals at Inside the Outdoors is to create better stewards of the environment. It is the children of the world that will be taking on the responsibility of making it a better place. By sharing our passion we help foster an apprication for science and nature and all the wonders our Earth has to over. Bellow are letters from students who attended Outdoor Science School to Mother Earth, on ways they can make the Earth a better place.
"Dear Mother Earth,
I am glad that you let us live on this planet. I will try to save the planet by not ruining oceans, forests, and more land. I want the animals to have a good place to live. I will try my best to protect the Earth for you.
Sincerely, Cesar M."
I will pick up a lot more garbage. I will ask people to cut less wood from your forests, and that we should only chop down trees when we need it. I will clean up in my community and I will help save the Earth. Thank you for providing us with food, water and much more.
Sincerely, Leslie Y."
With your continued help we can continue to provide these life changing experiences for students and help create empowered young people that will strive to make this planet a better place for all.
As the school year progresses and we meet more and more students each day, it is the stories they share with us that touch our lives and remind us of why it is we are doing what we are for these kids. Below are stories that our staff from Outdoor Science School (OSS - ITO's week long outdoor education program for 4th and 5th graders) have shared of some of the students they spend their weeks with in the San Bernardino Mountains.
"My second week at Outdoor Science School, I arrived eager and ready. I met eight girls who would be in my cabin and learn and play together all week. One girl particularly stood out right away. Unlike the others, she was immediately comfortable expressing herself. I noticed her energetic and quirky personality and we bonded in minutes. Then I noticed the other girls’ reactions to her; which were less than positive. Throughout the week, she continued to be herself and had trouble making friends. By Thursday, I observed the other girls and their acceptance of her as they broke out of their shells. By skit night, we were all being silly without reservation. We shared a profound moment on Friday’s last hike. When asked to share what they learned at OSS, my little oddball told us that she now knew people can accept her for who she is. She told me I taught her to love herself. We all cried sweet tears of love and happiness as we parted ways, knowing we were all better off having shared the experience." - Laura, OSS Instructor
"I was following a group on the Wildlife Biology Hike. As we hiked up the hill past a heavily wooded area, I spotted a deer lying down in the trees and grass. One by one, I pointed the deer out to the students. In order to see the deer the students had to stop and look really hard to see the deer camouflaged in its surroundings. It was great to see the students’ eyes light up as they saw the deer’s head and then the rest of the deer’s body. A great thing about this program is that we stop students, encourage them to look, listen, and experience the world around them. When they discover something that they wouldn’t have seen before or wouldn’t have been able to see before, it literally changes their world." - Kevin D., OSS Instructor
"It was Monday night, astronomy night. I was in the field running one of the telescopes showing the students the Orion Nebula. As one of the girl instructor’s cabins was in line patiently awaiting their turn this little girl lightly tugged on my hand to get my attention and said, “Ms. Rice Crispy, are those real?” I replied, “What, the stars? Of course, sweetheart.” “Wow, I can’t believe it, they look so beautiful.” I had to pause, take a moment and really put myself into her shoes before I replied with, “Ya know they sure are.” Sometimes the students are the ones that put it all in perspective for us. Everything we take for granted. We’re reminded of how grateful we are for them with each group of students we encounter." - Chris P., OSS Instructor
"My best experience at Outdoor Science School was sharing my love for the outdoors with a group of girls who never did outdoorsy things. They did not want to get their hands or shoes dirty, or sit on the floor, or touch nature. I used my excitement and showed them how much fun I have with nature to let them see that girls can get dirt on them without making them any less girly. These girls slowly started to see the light through their academic hikes and especially on their night and astronomy hikes. By the time Friday came, they all shared their love for the outdoors and wishes to continue hiking once they get home, during the review hike. I was glad I got to share my interests with these girls and show them the fun inside the outdoors." - Mallory S., OSS Instructor
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Program Development Manager