On March 26th, 5th graders from Tenderloin Community School, in San Francisco, camped out over night at Slide Ranch. For many of these children it was the first time they had camped under the stars, and as their trip went on, there were many more firsts to come. 

... the first time they camped out under the stars.

... the first time they camped out under the stars.

They spent their day milking goats, feeding chickens, harvesting herbs in the garden, baking bread and exploring tide pools. In the evening, they climbed exhausted into tents beneath the stars and above the Pacific, with only the sounds of the nocturnal birds and crashing waves to lull them to sleep. Awaking with the sun, the children discovered something had arrived at Slide Ranch to greet them in the morning: a brand new baby kid, just born that very morning.

We wish every child could experience this.

These kids come from an inner city school. The nearest green spaces are city parks with manicured lawns, and those are blocks away across congested streets. But, thanks to donors like you, these schoolchildren got to experience something they will never ever forget. Please make a gift today to give children from across the Bay Area the chance to smell, see, touch and discover the wonders of the natural world.

... the first time they welcomed new life into the world.

... the first time they welcomed new life into the world.

... the first time they harvested food from the garden.

... the first time they harvested food from the garden.

Our teachers opened up the world to these 5th graders, just as they do for 4,000 School and Community Program participants every year. They use experiential learning to develop respect for the natural environment and give the students the tools to make choices about healthy food and healthy living.   

But, did you know that all of our school programs are subsidized?

More than 80% of the children at Tenderloin Community School qualify for reduced and free lunch. That means a family of four is living on $43,000 or less per year. Your gift of any size directly supports our education programs so that all children may have equal access to nature education. 

... the first time they explored tide pools.

... the first time they explored tide pools.

...the first time they fed and held chickens.

...the first time they fed and held chickens.

Some of these children have never been camping, have never fed chickens, have never balanced carefully on rocks near tidepools, have never baked bread from scratch. A trip to Slide Ranch offers them unprecedented freedom, open air and the opportunity to interact with animals and nature. A donation of $80 or more brings two kids on a campout under the stars at our rustic campsite overlooking the ocean, complete with tents, sleeping bags and s’mores.

At the end of their day, we asked them what they like best about their visit.  

"My favorite part of the day was when we made the bread and we ate it," one offers.

"...when we got into the tents," says another.

"I liked seeing the chickens!"

"My favorite part was feeding the chickens and running away!"

"...playing with the animals and the bones."

"We got to hike."

These are unique experiences for city kids that will stay with them when they return home. Ben Henriques, a veteran Teacher-in-Residence at Slide Ranch, first encountered Slide Ranch on a school trip.  In a recent article for Edible Marin & Wine Country, he credited that trip with "planting a seed that got me to think about the natural world in a different way. As a kid growing up in a very urban environment, going to a place like Slide Ranch gave me the experience to be more in touch with the earth."

There were many firsts for these school kids, and we hope that with your generous support we can continue providing these life-changing moments for many more children. 

Thank you for Planting Kids in Nature.

P.S. Why not be one of our FIRST supporters to become a monthly donor with our NEW monthly donor option! Your donation of $20 a month provides a scholarship for a low-income child to enjoy these new experiences.

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AuthorEmily Haber
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