Wilderness Inquiry is honored to announce that Canoemobile has just won an important national education award. The National Summer Learning Association gave Canoemobile the 2017 New York Life Founder’s Award. The award recognizes stellar summer education programs that create innovative, diverse, and experiential learning opportunities for students in all grade levels.
“Summer programming and opportunities are now, more than ever, crucial for the well-being of our youth,” said Matthew Boulay, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. “Thanks to innovative programs like our award winners and finalists, kids are able to stay engaged over the summer months through fun and unique learning experiences designed to help students thrive in the school year ahead.”
The National Summer Learning Association is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. The organization awards programs that curb learning losses over the summer, when low-income students are disproportionately at risk for academically fall behind their high-income peers. While most children lose up to two months of math skills during summer breaks, low-income students are at a higher risk of losing up to two to three months in reading skills.
Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile is a floating classroom that many educators consider the best field trip of the year. Students head out on local waterways in Wilderness Inquiry’s 24-foot Voyageur canoes to learn outdoor skills, cultural history, and environmental science. Students also learn on land at field stations. At each location, Wilderness Inquiry partners with federal, state, and local organizations to connect urban youth to the natural world through hands-on, outdoor learning. The experience engages youth to improve school performance, cultivates a stewardship ethic, and creates pathways for the pursuit of educational and career opportunities in the outdoors.
Canoemobile started as a local program in Minnesota in 2008, but now it is a national program that covers communities from San Francisco to the Bronx. In 2016, Canoemobile reached more than 30,000 people in 56 communities. Wilderness Inquiry is honored that Canoemobile was recognized with the other winners of awards from the New York Life Foundation and the National Summer Learning Association.
“Each year we look forward to honoring outstanding summer programs that exemplify excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development,” said Marlyn Torres, Senior Program Officer, New York Life Foundation. “Every child deserves the opportunity to learn while staying safe and healthy during the summer months and these programs have demonstrated how important summers can make life-changing difference in the lives of young students.”
To learn more about Canoemobile and the National Summer Learning Association read this article in Youth Today.