L.L. Bean has donated $22,000 to the Foundation for Portland Public Schools to continue the partnership between Rippleffect and Portland’s three middle schools. This funding allows students to participate in activities including kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, and outdoor team-building activities with their peers, teachers, and Rippleffect staff.
With L.L. Bean’s support, the Portland Public Schools (PPS) has provided outdoor education experiences for all middle school students since 2019. Even before the pandemic, the benefits of this programming were enormous. Now, with transmission of Covid-19 lower outdoors, it is an even more critical aspect of PPS programming.
Foundation for Portland Public Schools Executive Director Andrea Weisman Summers shared, “Democratizing access to nature across socioeconomic, racial, and cultural lines is one of the ways we are supporting the equity focus of the Portland Promise. Exposing students who live in an urban environment to positive interactions with nature helps build a lifelong respect for open spaces, conservation, and natural resources. There’s also research that shows that spending time in nature leads to increased academic achievement, student engagement, and better physical and social-emotional health. We are so grateful to L.L. Bean for their support of this important work.”
Students at King, Lincoln, and Lyman Moore Middle Schools participate in a range of activities with Rippleffect and PPS staff. The experiences are designed not only to expose students to nature and outdoor activities, but also to build community and strengthen the foundation of peer-to-peer and peer- to-adult relationships back at school.
Robyn Bailey, Interim Principal at Lincoln Middle School, said, “The Rippleffect collaboration has been instrumental in helping develop leadership through team building. This relationship has helped Lincoln students find success through outdoor education, shared values, and an opportunity to explore learning outside the classroom walls.”