As I reflect about the impact the Cottonwood Institute had this past year, I am delighted to see our impact surge in 2011.
We do a lot more that just connect kids to the outdoors. In the words of one of our instructors Madeline Bachner, “Our courses are centered around cultivating direct action for positive change, appreciation for nature, an interest in environmental issues, a passion for community involvement, and inspired service.”
As you and your family consider supporting your favorite charities for Colorado Gives Day and during the holiday season, here are a few reasons to invest in the Cottonwood Institute:
STRONG PARTNERSHIPS: We served over 350 youth and delivered over 13,000 program contact hours in 2011 and we couldn’t have done it without strong partnerships from:
- West Denver Preparatory Charter School serving low-income public school students in Denver, CO.
- New partnerships serving diverse students from Casa de la Esperanza, Lakewood High School, GOAL Academy, Johnson & Wales University, Buckley Air Force Base, and Welcome Home Warrior.
- New Vista High School serving public school students in Boulder, CO to deliver the Community Adventure Program and support the Earth Task Force.
ACTION PROJECTS: Our students recorded over 6,000 environmental service-learning project hours completing “Action Projects” to help address local issues in their schools, the community, and the environment. Here are a few highlights:
- A Meal For Many: New Vista High School and The Kitchen Restaurant Host Local Lunch 2011
- West Denver Prep Students Learn About Liquid Gold For World Water Monitoring Day
- Gardening Made Simple and 100 Ways To Change The World
- West Denver Prep “Whips” Into Shape This Spring
AWARDS: The Cottonwood Institute and our students received three key awards in 2011 and it is great to see our hard work be recognized on a local and national level:
- Cottonwood Institute Wins $25,000 and 2011 Markham Mark of Distinction Award
- Earth Task Force Recognized for National Green Prize and Receives $10,000 Check!
- Earth Task Force Students Win the Center For Resource Conservation’s Youth Conservation ReWard
AMAZING INSTRUCTORS: Anyone can write a lesson plan, but it takes gifted instructors to deliver and facilitate a high impact program. We could not do what we do without April Pishna, Madeline Bachner, Paige Doughty, Paul Dreyer, Clark Patton, Tim Joynt, Kristin Maharg, Ryan Johns, Jason Lawrence, and all of the other phenomenal instructors we have the honor and privilege of working with each year.
Finally, I wanted to share a quote we read to students at the end of our courses:
“Don’t be on the sidelines, be on the court of life. Don’t go through this world on autopilot. Don’t always take the easy path. Don’t go through this world with blinders on. Go through this world with wide-angle vision, be a leader, challenge yourself, walk your talk, take the initiative, step up when others won’t, because in the end that’s what life is all about. Your community needs you, the environment needs you, the world needs you. We need your energy, your voice, your perspective, your optimism, your hope.” – Anonymous
Ford Church, M. A., Founder and Executive Director