The funds will help support nature education programming and off-site field trips offered by the club as an effort to curb the rate of childhood obesity and gang involvement in area youth. .
“The programs that are now available through these funds provide our students with an amazing opportunity to learn hands-on outside the classroom, while battling the growing social trends of childhood obesity, and a local increase in gang activity and violence,” said Anthony Shaheen, environmental educator at McDowell Nature Preserve. “This partnership puts CMS and Park and Recreation in the forefront of modern education trends and gang prevention. All we need now is community support to grow it through some of the toughest schools in our county.”
The club will use the money to install an interpretive trail on campus, as well as a permanent fire ring. The grant will also cover conservation programming, visiting state parks, and rock climbing and camping trips.
The North Face® Explore FundTM is a grant program committed to supporting nonprofit, community organizations that break down the barriers preventing children and families from experiencing the outdoors. The Explore FundTM, administered by The Outdoor Foundation, finds, engages and provides funding for new partners that help further the mission of inspiring the next generation of explorers and conservationists by helping them discover nature's playground.
McClintock Outdoors Club is a partnership between CMS and Park & Recreation that not only utilizes the outdoors as a natural remedy to urban social issues, but also as a classroom supplementing middle school science and math curriculums. Issues such as the 400-percent increase in Charlotte gang activity over the last 7 years, and the rise of childhood obesity to 20 percent, are being addressed head-on as kids find active, constructive and creative ways to express themselves naturally.