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Sierra Nevada Journeys recognized for its outstanding partnerships

For the past three years, hundreds of fifth- and sixth- graders from Twin Rivers Unified School District board a bus and travel to Sierra Nevada Journeys’ Grizzly Creek Ranch camp for a life-changing adventure. Students are given the opportunity to attend Overnight Outdoor Learning with Sierra Nevada Journeys at the end of their elementary education career.

The three-day science camp, located in Plumas National Forest, becomes an outdoor classroom to teach and immerse students in science and STEM principles.

For many of the students, the trip is their first time out of the city, the first time to camp in a forested environment and the first time to see snow. It can be a defining experience for the students with the chance to experience many “firsts” on the trip.

Of 34 elementary and middle schools in the Twin Rivers school district, 21 of them attend Overnight Outdoor Learning program with Sierra Nevada Journeys which equates to about 1,400 students each year.

At the Sept. 24th Twin Rivers Unified School District Board Meeting, the Trustees and Jackie White, Twin Rivers executive director of Student Engagement, presented Sierra Nevada Journeys with a certificate of recognition for “unwavering commitment to building partnerships that increase Twin Rivers students’ experiences and opportunities that lead to increased engagement, learning and academic success.”

“Students are experiencing the outdoors with classmates, building new skills, learning teamwork and doing things that take them out of their comfort zone, like traversing on the high ropes course. Our program is set up to be a combination of Social-Emotional Learning mixed in with our science curriculum, which is Next Generation Science Standards. It includes a lot of problem-solving and presenting your case based on evidence that the students find on the trail hike,” said Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO of Sierra Nevada Journeys.

Teachers and students shared their experiences of attending science camp with Sierra Nevada Journeys, “It is multifaceted learning at Grizzly Creek Ranch. There are physical and mental challenges for the kids, there’s science and there is personal growth. The learning is extreme. It’s just a phenomenal program,” said Steve Breiter, a sixth-grade teacher at Hillsdale Elementary, which is part of Twin Rivers Unified School District.

Ava Jones, a sixth-grader with Twin Rivers, shared her experience on the challenge course and climbing the alpine tower. “It was scary at first. But when you’re up there, it is amazingly beautiful and you just feel good inside that you did it,” she said.

For additional information about Sierra Nevada Journeys, call 775-355-1688 or visit sierranevadajourneys.org.

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