Building Relationships with Inner-City and Diverse Groups and the Environment (BRIDGE) Fund
The Cal-Wood Building Relationships with Inner-City and Diverse Groups and the Environment (BRIDGE) Fund has been formally established to support economically disadvantaged school aged children by offering financial assistance to lower the cost of participation in Cal-Wood educational programs. Our long-term goal is to have under resourced students make up 40% of program participants, by providing financial support. Fee reductions of 30% to 80% are awarded based on need.
Fifty percent to 75% of BRIDGE Fund schools are low-income schools we are targeting of their students enrolled in free lunch programs and more than 50% are English Language Learners and are primarily Latinos.
BRIDGE FUND GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
- Connect under-resourced youth to nature by bringing them to the Cal-Wood Education Center 1200 acre campus.
- Give under resourced children an opportunity to have an immersive and directed outdoor educational experience that supports STEM objectives.
- Illustrate possible future study and environmental and science vocational opportunities.
- Promote the importance of environmental stewardship.
- Raise $125,000 in 2013 to increase the number of under-resourced children participating in Cal-Wood Education Center programs to 1500 in 2013 by offering reduced program fees of 30 – 80%.
PROGRAMS SUPPORTED BY THE BRIDGE FUND:
Cal-Wood’s total youth programs and partnerships served 4,609 youth in 2012, including 1,123 under-resourced youth that were offered reduced fee services through the BRIDGE Fund, which represent 24% of our youth program participants. In 2014 we intend to raise $125,000 to increase reduced fee services to 1,500 under-resourced youth.
This experience is a three-day, two-night outdoor immersion program for elementary and middle school students. With each class group, Cal-Wood education staff members partner with visiting teachers to tailor a specific set of learning objectives that are relevant to the needs of the students, and support STEM objectives. We have built partnerships have with many under-resourced front range elementary educators and these schools come back year after year. Cal-Wood is actively creating new relationships with schools in economically depressed areas to recruit new schools to participate because of the BRIDGE Fund. Without BRIDGE funds these schools would not be able to bring students to Cal-Wood. These average low-income rate at these schools is above 70%. We provided direct financial assistance to 27 schools with 1,123 under resourced-students in 2012, and plan to expand to 1,375 students in 2013.
Summer Camps are be a very formative experience for young people. Cal-Wood camps bring together children from all over the front range and beyond. Some camps are a mix of reduced-fee campers and full-tuition campers, and several camps are designated for reduced-fee only groups. We design camps to offer a mix of environmental education, confidence-building, outdoor recreation, team-building, and to give participants the opportunity to connect with the amazing Cal-Wood Education Center campus.
Cal-Wood has established relationships with complementary nonprofit organizations that serve similar target populations to offer camping partnerships. The primary focus of the summer camps is to provide a hands-on opportunity to understand the unique ecology and biology at our 1,200 acre facility. Camper students are given information about future study and environmental vocational opportunities. We provide Summer Camp Financial Aid to approximately 100 under-resourced students each year.
A full-day, activity-based program offered to youth on Saturdays, teacher conference days, holidays, school breaks, and during summer camps. This program is provided free of charge, and is targeted to low-income and diverse students. The Teen Adventure Club connects kids to the environment, their communities, and their inner strength through year-round recreation, environmental education, and community service projects. We will serve 100 middle and high school students during the 2013/14 school year.