School Hopes Outdoor Science Can Bring Brighter Future For Stockton Students

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Teachers from a north Stockton school say science is the key to preparing young people for a positive future far away from all the crime and violence.

For the last several weeks, they have been working to bring hope to many students who come from low-income families by trying to use the Sierra as a classroom.

Over the summer, Clairmont Elementary School principal Annette Roberts had an idea to provide students with a chance at having a better understanding of science while getting the opportunity for a bright future.

“For our kids, who are inspiring to become veterinarians or work in the field of environmental science this is great. It pushes our kids in the direction of going into those fields,” she said.

She introduced them to an outdoor science camp located in the Stanislaus National Forest. The only problem is the $22,000 cost to send 90 students to the three-day camp.

“$22,000 seemed kind of unreachable in the beginning, and now we’re getting so close. It’s really exciting,” said Erica Haley, 6th-grade teacher.

Through the help of teachers, parents, and community members Clairmont Elementary was able to raise $13,000 in donations. They are now working to raise another $9,000 to reach their goal.

“It’s really heartwarming; it’s very special to watch their faces light up every time we can tell them we got a hundred more dollars and we’re that much closer to that goal. It’s really special to see that they are just as eager as we are to get them there,” said Haley.

The outdoor science camp will allow these kids who come from low-income families to explore their potential with interactive, hands-on lessons they normally wouldn’t get inside a classroom.

“It uses that background knowledge that we’ve already put in place in the classroom but then they really get to put it into place, and they get to use it and that for the kids is more empowering that way,” said Haley.

The outdoor experience, teachers say, is an important aspect of a child’s development and growth, an opportunity to see their textbooks come to life and create a stronger connection to what they are learning.

“This is a tight-knit community, and our parents care about their kids, they care about their kids’ education, and they want their kids to have the same experience as other kids in higher social-economic schools,” said Roberts.

Teachers are continuing their fundraising efforts throughout the community with a goal of sending the kids to science camp in March.

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