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Cal-Wood Education Center

Cal-Wood provides life-changing experiences for Colorado youth and their families through our residential science-based school programs, summer camps, and family camp-outs held at our beautiful, mountain site located in Boulder County.

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Science-based Environmental Education Program for K-12 Schools

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

Our Science-based Environmental Education program engages more than 4,000 students annually during a 3-day, 2-night immersive experience held at Cal-Wood's mountain site. All programs are customized to meet the academic and social needs of each school. Our expert staff leads students through hands-on, field-based exploration of local plants, animals, fire ecology, forestry, geology, and pond ecosystems.

The Science-based Environmental Education program objectives are to 1) promote academic achievement by accomplishing key grade-level science standards customized for each school; 2) highlight environmental and scientific careers which is especially important for minority and low-income students; 3) create a direct connection between each student and Colorado's mountain environment; and 4) connect with English Language Learners through innovative and differentiated bilingual instruction (Spanish/English) and Sheltered English instruction which integrates language and content instruction.

Students at Cal-Wood, regardless of socio-economics or language spoken, thrive as they engage in nature discovery in a non-classroom environment supported with bilingual strategies that have earned Cal-Wood awards nationally and locally. Our model also fosters a direct connection with nature. For many low-income students, Cal-Wood is their first experience surrounded by nature, and three days of nature immersion can be a truly impactful experience.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Since 2012, we have grown this program by more than 40%! Cal-Wood measures the Science-based Environmental Education Program and the BRIDGE Fund impact with outputs (participation/program numbers) and outcomes that demonstrate achievement of the program objectives, as well as increased knowledge/skills, environmental awareness, and behavioral changes (surveys).

2017 Outputs
-Engaged 3689 students
-1715 low-income students will receive scholarships
-Distributed $80,536 in BRIDGE Fund scholarships
-Partnered with 73 schools including 30 low-income schools
-Provided150,000 hours of environmental education and STEM programming

Projected 2018 Outputs
-Reach 4408 students (16% increase from 2017)
-Serve 2124 low-income students (20% increase from 2017)
-Partner with 79 schools, including 35 low-income schools
-Raise and distribute $103,597 through the BRIDGE Fund (22% increase from 2017)

Cal-Wood Outcomes
Cal-Wood's impact is far broader and deeper than numbers served. Our evaluation system measures this impact utilizing focus groups, teacher surveys, and interviews. In 2017, Cal-Wood achieved the following key outcomes:
100% of STEM learning objectives/outcomes set by the teachers prior to the program were met
100% of teachers felt that the Cal-Wood curriculum was crucial to achieving their classroom's learning objectives
100% of children had positive experiences that lead to academic, personal, and social benefits
100% of children felt empowered when they came to Cal-Wood

Read the full 2016 report: http://www.calwood.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/BL_CWFinalReportFINAL_2.22.17.pdf

Summer Camp

Class

Recreation & Sports 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Cal-Wood offers young people ages 8-18 the opportunity to deeply connect with the Colorado Mountains during week-long residential summer camps at our beautiful 1200-acre outdoor classroom near Jamestown, CO. summer campers ages 8-18 enjoy a week immersed in nature at Cal-Wood where they explore trails, fish the ponds, mountain biking, backpack and camp, complete service projects, and sing around the campfire.

Summer 2018
↠ 448 summer campers
↠ 86 low-income kids received $46,145 in scholarships
↠ 37,632 hours of nature immersion!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Cal-Wood continues to grow this program each year - especially the number of scholarship recipients which doubled in number between 2016 and 2017 and more than doubled in the dollar amount.

Summer camp evaluations indicate that campers would highly recommend these camps to others as the experience is rewarding, meaningful, challenging, and engaging for them. Camper retention rates indicate that the experiences that campers have are positive as they elect to return to Cal-Wood for future summers, share their experience with others, and recruit friends/family to join them.

Latino Family Camp

Class

Recreation & Sports 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Hispanics
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Latino Family Camps combine the health benefits of nature and exercise with a celebration of family, community and Latino culture. Our goal is to inspire and empower Latino families to explore Colorado's natural wonders as a family and community. During each Latino Family Camp weekend program, family members are fully immersed in nature - hiking, fishing, mountain biking, summiting peaks, camping, backpacking, and building connections and confidence with accomplishment of each new outdoor activity. From scholarships to gear, we strive to break down barriers for participation. All activities are led in Spanish by professional Latinos.

Cal-Wood is the only organization engaging Latino families through overnight camping experiences, and this program's success has inspired other organizations to strive to better serve our region's Latino families.

In 2018, we expanded the program to not only host Family Camps at Cal-Wood, but also at Rocky Mountain National Park, Waneka Lake, and Golden Gate State Park.

2018 by the Numbers:
↠ 22% more people in Latino Family Camps (678 Family Members!)
↠ 55% more scholarships
↠ 30 Mountainsmith tents distributed so families can continue to camp on their own
↠ 11 camps : 2 at Rocky Mountain National Park, 1 at Waneka Lake, 1 at Golden Gate State Park and 7 at Cal-Wood
↠ 32,500 hours of nature immersion!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2018, 83 Latino families representing 678 people joined Cal-Wood's bilingual staff to hike, fish, stargaze, practice archery, learn survival skills, mountain biking, play team building games, and sing around the campfire at Cal-Wood.

More than 90% of evaluations were positive; many indicating that this weekend was a life changing experience. One father told us he never thought he'd have a chance to bring his family camping, and now he feels confident about planning a future camping trip with his family.

Please take 1:20 minutes to view our video that describes the program and its impact including testimonials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE1wGuJuqYc

Teen Adventure Program

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General
Hispanics
Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Middle and high school students embark on field trips on non-school days that emphasize environmental stewardship, recreation, natural science careers, and community service. This program is provided free of charge, and is targeted to low-income and diverse students. The program includes year-round recreation, environmental education, career exploration, and community service projects.

We served 50 students in 2016 through this program. In partnership with Nature Kids Lafayette, we will engage another 50 teens in the 2018/2019 school year.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

More than 80% of evaluations indicate that participants would highly recommend this program to others as the experience is rewarding, meaningful, challenging, and engaging for them. The program continues to grow with increase in demand not only from individuals, but from our partner organizations who serve primarily low-income Front Range students.

Ecosystem Conservation and Fire Mitigation

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Cal-Wood stewards its 1200 acres of wilderness integrating conservation into land management practices. In 2016, 766 volunteers logged 3,156 total volunteer hours. Resource protection projects create a direct connection between the volunteers and Cal-Wood. Through service projects, students also learn about land management as a career.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Signs of a healthy, disease-free forest population and a fire mitigated forest shows that the work is being successful. Invasive species populations are also being reduced in great numbers. All parts of the ecosystem improve when forest management and watershed management are accomplished. Cal-Wood has historic Ponderosa Pine trees along with keystone grass species that thrive in healthy environments along the front range.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.