2008 proved to be an exciting year for the Cottonwood Institute. Before the end of the year approaches, I wanted to take a moment to share some of our exciting success stories and to thank all of our donors, instructors, volunteers, educational partners, students, and parents that helped make it all possible.
In 2008, we served 800 participants through the Community Adventure Program, our Summer Courses, programs for Schools & Community Organizations, Free Survival Skills Clinics, and Change the World Movie Nights!
This summer we awarded over $7,000 in scholarships, a 250% increase from 2007! We are incredibly grateful to all of our donors who have supported our Jason F. Griffith Scholarship Fund to make our courses accessible to those that otherwise would not have the opportunity to join us for a course this summer.
JACK JOHNSON CHALLENGE GRANT:
We successfully met a $2,500 challenge grant from Jack Johnson, the All at Once Community, and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation raising $5,000 for our Jason F. Griffith Scholarship Fund.
We received a $20,000 Environmental Education Grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency to help underwrite the costs of implementing our public school initiative called the Community Adventure Program at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO and at P.S.1 Charter School in Denver, CO.
REI WINTER GEAR GRANT:
We have continued to strengthen our partnership with REI, Inc. and received a $5,000 winter gear grant to acquire the gear and equipment we need to increase the accessibility of winter recreation with our students. We are now equipped to take students out all year long without having to rent or borrow gear from other groups. We are also participating the 2009 Winter Trails Day sponsored by REI and Snowsports Industries America, so stay tuned for volunteer opportunities to help get more youth outside this winter.
Based on our financial success so far this year, we have been able to expand the Community Adventure Program to Manual High School in Denver. Manual is an amazing school that was once a failing school shut down by school district, but under the leadership of Rob Stein and an amazing new staff has transformed Manual into a model school reform success story. Learn my by listening to the NPR Report that aired earlier this summer.
The Cottonwood Institute is committed to inspiring active community leaders and environmental stewards and I was impressed with the “Action Projects” that our students and volunteers completed this summer. From organic gardening to wildfire mitigation to horse and wolf caretaking projects to completing much-needed restoration work on Mt. Evans with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, we made a huge difference in Colorado this summer.