Gateway to the Great Outdoors
Gateway to the Great Outdoors empowers students from low-income households by igniting curiosity through outdoor experiences, building environmental science literacy, and promoting healthy lifestyles. Throughout the academic year, GGO works with students inside and outside of the classroom to develop impactful and lasting connections. Students can count on seeing their mentors each week in science class to participate in hands-on lessons. Beyond the classroom, mentors lead our students on environmentally-focused outdoor adventures. All lessons and outdoor adventures put on by GGO are designed to match and expand on the students’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curricula. From learning about ecosystems on paper to experiencing those ecosystems on hikes, GGO combines STEAM instruction and outdoor learning to enhance students’ scientific literacy. Along with solidifying the in-class lessons, our monthly outdoor adventures enable our students to learn outdoor skills, strengthen relationships with fellow classmates and their GGO mentors, and develop leadership skills. Ultimately, experiencing science through outdoor adventure improves our students’ perceptions of science and the world around them. The GGO program encourages students to live healthy and active lifestyles. Through creating school gardens, facilitating a myriad of physical activities, providing access to healthy snacks, and introducing students to outdoor recreation, we work to support the adoption and maintenance of healthy rituals in our students.