The Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program is committed to supporting equitable and inclusive outdoor school programs for Oregon’s youth. The COVID-19 pandemic response has economically and systemically impacted all aspects of life, including the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s outdoor school students, districts/schools, programs, providers, and sites. To support these outdoor school communities, the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program developed two grant opportunities in 2020 to further invest in the overall improvement of outdoor school.
The following videos highlight the work performed in 2021 by grantees (one for each grant program).
We hope to add to these stories as our grantees continue their excellent work toward improving the outdoor school experience for Oregon youth!
The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program sought applications from outdoor school providers1 and sites who wished to engage in projects that further the values of the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program – specifically those of equity, diversity, and inclusion. While organizations were permitted to apply for both grant types, there were very few organizations who met the requirements of both grant types. In addition, the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program strove to equitably distribute these awards to outdoor school community members across the state of Oregon, so we reserved the right to hold additional applications from a single organization until we could assure that other organizations were considered.
These grant-based investments will help Oregon’s outdoor school programs emerge from this pandemic as stronger, more equitable and more accessible programs for the youth of our state:
This grant was designated for outdoor school providers1 who strive to improve their outdoor school programming through organizational change focused on 1) building instructional resource responsiveness around EDI, or 2) actions moving outdoor school staff and programming toward an improved understanding/expression of EDI during the 2020-2021 academic year. These improvements could include, but were not limited to:
This grant was designated for outdoor school sites to implement physical site improvements focused on improving site and programming accessibility for outdoor school students (e.g. students with exceptional physical or cognitive needs).
These improvements could include, but were not limited to:
Organizations who received EDI Outdoor School Program Improvement grants are required to submit a final report to the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office within one month of the scheduled end of the project. The final report must include a project summary document that includes, as applicable:
Organizations who received Accessibility and Inclusion Site or Program Improvement grants are required to submit a final report to the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office within one month of the scheduled end of their project. The final report must include a project summary document with, as applicable:
Please note: The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office (or their designated representative) reserves the right to request a tour of the project site as part of the report review/grant closure process.
1 As verified by the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program.
2 Under-resourced refers to a lack of resources including leadership, physical assets, money, power, political will, institutions, community cohesion, and services.