Concrete Summer Learning Adventures seeks to engage children living adjacent to North Cascades National Park who are at high risk of summertime hunger and learning loss. They participate in fun and educational summer activities, field trips to North Cascades National Park, and eat healthy, nourishing meals. The school district recruits impoverished students working below grade level to participate. Each week they travel to the Park to spend the day with rangers and Institute environmental educators learning about this special resource and nearby ecosystems. Activities range from meeting horses used by the trail crew to playing games that teach conservation and encourage literacy development.
We are finding that after three years of offering the program, student summer learning retention has improved and so have relationships between the community of Concrete and CSLA partners, including the Park. The program now recruits six interns from the local high school who serve as role models and mentors to younger participants. We hope to build upon these successes and growing trust to bring more students than ever to the Park in 2016. Funding will be used to cover the cost of supplies and transportation for the program so that around 65 kids, including at least 12 4th graders, can visit North Cascades National Park.