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Grant Benefits Adventure Quests at CBHS

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Grant Benefits Adventure Quests at CBHS
Posted on 10/18/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Grant Benefits Adventure Quests at CBHS

Casco Bay High School (CBHS) students will benefit from a new Get Into Nature initiative for the nation’s youth sponsored by Tom’s of Maine’s and funded by the National Recreation Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating more just and equitable access to recreation programs.

Among recipients of the first grants from the nationwide initiative will be Rippleffect’s annual senior and freshman adventure quests at CBHS. Grants help all students participate in these innovative outdoor learning experiences, regardless of family income. Rippleffect will receive $15,000 to benefit the adventure quest program.

“Casco Bay Quests are a hallmark of CBHS and reflect our noblest values,” said CBHS Principal Derek Pierce. “These are the experiences that imprint on students the glories of Maine and the importance of challenge, collaboration and outdoor learning to a joyous life. This kind of experience is especially crucial for young people's wellness now as they rebuild their connections to one another and the natural world. We are so grateful to the National Recreation Foundation, Tom's of Maine and Rippleffect for this partnership.”

Together with local communities, Get Into Nature is set to bring the joys of nature to 150,000 kids across the country. Over three years, and with a commitment of $3 million dollars, Tom’s of Maine aims to introduce the next generation to the vital role they play in protecting the planet. This is critical because 87 percent of youngsters who play and explore outside are more likely to cherish, protect and care for nature when they grow up. Long-standing environmental activist and celebrated actress, Rosario Dawson, is partnering with Tom’s of Maine to launch Get Into Nature nationwide.

Get Into Nature funding will go toward youngsters who live in underrepresented communities across the country that often lack the resources to access nature and get outside. The initiative will provide support to local community organizations such as Rippleffect to increase and expand their programs. Rippleffect is a Portland-based youth development organization whose adventure and wilderness experience programs reach underserved children in Maine, building confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.

Rippleffect runs the CBHS freshman and senior adventure quests. The Freshman Quest involves students kayaking and engaging in community-building this year. CBHS senior crews will set off on four-day, kayaking-centered expeditions.

“These freshman and seniors quests are a huge initiative involving about 200 students and are integral in our effort to provide equitable, no-barrier access to the outdoors for Portland students,” said Rippleffect Executive Director Adam Shepherd. “We are extremely grateful to the National Recreation Foundation and Tom’s of Maine for this funding, which enhances our ability to offer these life-changing ‘ripple effect’ experiences to CBHS students so they can experience the challenge, joy, and the life-lessons that come with outdoor adventures in Maine.”

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.