Portlanders for Outdoor School
Portlanders for Outdoor School was formed by Jeanne Roy, Celeste Lewis, and two colleagues in April 2012 when the 45-year tradition of Outdoor School in Portland Public Schools (PPS) was about to end. This group of four took the lead in mobilizing citizens to save the hands-on science program. Open to all sixth graders regardless of means, the annual residential camp experience has been life-changing for generations of Oregonians, including the enthusiastic high school leaders.
The Portlanders for Outdoor School team organized a campaign to find financial support to save the program for 2012-13. We sprang into action again the following years and were able to secure funds from the soil and water conservation districts, parent donations, and grants to complement traditional sources. In 2015-16 Outdoor School finally returned to a full week.
To enable all 6th grade students in Oregon to benefit from outdoor education, Outdoor School for All formed under the leadershipof our colleague Rex Burkholder. We helped collect signatures for a ballot measure to provide state funding, and in November 2016, it passed!