LETTER: Kudos to everyone who makes students’ trip to NatureBridge possible

The two-night, three-day trip by sixth-graders gives them an appreciation for nature that not many throughout our nation get to enjoy.

[Recently], several sixth-graders in the Port Angeles School District had the opportunity to attend a two-night, three-day outdoor science program at NatureBridge Olympic on Lake Crescent.

All sixth-graders will go at some point in this school year.

For many of our students, this will be their first time in Olympic National Park, away from home or even hiking.

This nationally renowned science education program is attended by school groups from across the country.

Folks travel from far and wide to experience what our kids can experience by simply taking a 30-minute bus ride from their schools.

I am so grateful our school board added this program into the Port Angeles School District budget with unanimous approval in August, thereby taking the burden of this cost off our community’s families, parent-teacher organizations and school staffs.

Many personal staff hours have been spent in recent years fundraising so that all kids could have this spectacular experience.

Kudos to our educators, support staff, AmeriCorps team members, administrators, the Port Angeles Education Foundation and NatureBridge, which awards substantial need-based scholarships to our schools and many others who visit the NatureBridge campus, for making these trips possible.

As a former outdoor and environmental educator, I have seen first-hand how experiential and inquiry-based educational opportunities can spark passion, engage minds and ignite curiosity in all students.

Often, students who are difficult to reach in a traditional classroom come alive when learning out of doors.

This commitment to outstanding science-learning for every child in our district makes me extremely proud to call Port Angeles my home.

Carrie Sanford,

Port Angeles