This fall, Oxbow was awarded an EPA grant that will support outdoor education programming for kindergarteners from a local low-income community. Through hands-on investigation facilitated by Oxbow educators, young learners will have the opportunity to touch, taste, smell, hear, and see the natural world. Our goal is not only to offer kids much-needed, repeated outdoor experiences throughout the academic year, but also to encourage a relationship with nature and food that builds a positive lifelong impact. We will work alongside school educators to build a curriculum that meets new science education standards and can be replicated by other schools nationwide.
When we first discussed the program with the partnering school, one of the biggest concerns of teachers and administration was that many of the children did not own the proper clothing for exploring the outdoors. Most of the children did not spend regular time outside, and the programming at Oxbow would be their first repeated experiences with nature. Our lush Snoqualmie Valley farmland is the product of many rainy, windy, and muddy days; to maximize their experience on the farm, we needed to ensure that every child stayed warm and dry.
We never let a little rain stop us, so we got creative and developed a plan to both assist the kids and enrich their experience on the farm — but we'll need your help to make it happen! The EPA grant requires that Oxbow match 25% of the total grant value; to help achieve a portion of the match requirement and to prepare the kids for inclement weather, we committed to supplying every one of the 110 kindergarteners with proper gear. Providing the kids with individually labeled outerwear to access while at the farm will not only ensure a positive experience, but will also foster a sense that this is their farm too, every time they pull on their boots. The gear will be kept here at Oxbow in the students’ very own orientation area. At the end of the academic year, children will be given their gear to continue to enjoy or pass on to a younger family member.
Here's where you come in. Oxbow is currently negotiating discounts with several generous outerwear companies to help offset the cost of the gear, but even with a discount, we'll still need some support to keep these well-deserving kids cozy and dry. We’re asking for your help to sponsor a child for just $30. Your tax-deductible donation will help bring a high-quality raincoat and waterproof boots to a kindergartener participating in the program, ensuring that their first experiences with the natural world will leave an impression to last a lifetime.
Thank you for your help as we teach children about healthy, sustainably grown food, and to steward our natural resources for generations to come.
To learn more about our educational programming, please visit: www.oxbow.org