A local elementary school is seeking community support to help tackle a “nature deficit” amongst its students.
Mira Vista Elementary, an East Richmond Heights neighborhood school that serves many students from low-income families, is raising scholarship money to send its fourth graders on a three-day environmental education field trip to the Marin Headlands with NatureBridge.
According to field trip organizers, “The three-day NatureBridge trip is a sleep-away camp where students spend their days outside, learning environmental science hands-on. This is an experience today’s children clearly need much more often than they’re getting it-particularly the least-privileged children whose families couldn’t send them without scholarships.”
The NatureBridge trip aims to expose urban youth to nature’s innumerable benefits, such as life-enriching educational lessons and an overall increased sense of health and well-being. Through the trip, students can also strengthen their stewardship of the Earth.
In other words, the field trip hopes to address the urban students’ “nature deficit” via an immersion in the outdoors. The term, coined by author Richard Louv and referenced by trip organizers in their fundraising appeal, speaks to the importance of physical contact with nature that stretches beyond the screen.
“The kids learned to appreciate nature where we live,” remarked Daiva, a Mira Vista parent who chaperoned the field trip last year. “Long hikes taught them to enjoy nature, to see birds, sea lions and other wildlife very closely. All these experiences were new to many kids.”
All donations to the Mira Vista Elementary NatureBridge field trip are tax-deductible via the nonprofit PTA; all donors will receive a follow-up report. Sponsor-level donors who give $250 or more will receive photos of the trip and a personal report.
To date, Mira Vista Elementary has raised more than $900 toward its $6,000 fundraising goal. To donate to support the field trip, click here.
If donations exceed the overall goal, that funding will be applied toward future field trips at the school.
-Kathy Chouteau, email@example.com