Parents at Richmond’s Mira Vista School are encouraging the community to donate toward an effort to send fourth graders on a 3-day environmental education trip.
Their goal is to send students from the low-income school, where more than half the children qualify for free or reduced lunch, to the 3-day NatureBridge sleep-away camp that has students spending their days outside and learning environmental science hands on.
Parents want to be sure every last fourth-grader at Mira Vista can make the trip no matter their financial situation. Fundraisers thus far have included a garage sale and a first day of school professional photo op. Fourth graders will be selling popcorn on Fridays after school and will have a rummage sale at the school’s annual Fall Festival.
Last year’s fourth grade class attended NatureBridge. Parents raved about the experience and hope to make it an annual tradition.
“The kids [at last year’s camp] learned to appreciate nature where we live. Long hikes taught them to enjoy nature, to see birds, sea lions and other wildlife very closely,” said a parent who chaperoned. “All these experiences were new to many kids.”
Aside from the school’s educational garden, its urban students don’t get enough exposure to nature, which is vital for physical and mental development and allows them to understand the importance of stewardship of the earth, according to the parents group.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up here. All donations are tax-deductible via the nonprofit PTA. Any extra funds raised will be used to fund future trips by the school’s seventh graders later this year or future fourth grade classes.