Michele Parr, Oak Grove Elementary

9-1-2016

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to express my deep appreciation for the Coyote Trails Outdoor Education Program. Our 5th graders here at Oak Grove Elementary have had the great pleasure of working with Katie Buttermore and her colleagues over the last three years. Both students and teachers gain so much from the rich and engaging experiences the program provides for us. 

The majority of our students come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Their parents are working two to three jobs and are not home in the evenings or weekends to spend time with their children. Some don't have vehicles. This makes it difficult for these children to get outside and experience nature. They lack a connection to the natural environment around them. 

All of the activities we participate in with Coyote Trails help students to make that connection and to see themselves as a part of the natural world. They learn to pay attention to details in their surroundings that they have otherwise taken for granted and become more conscious of the effect they have on those around them. 

I have witnessed these skills transfer over into other areas in school. When they are in the practice of honig in on the details of life, they are better able to expand on their experiences when writing. We've made connections to science, social science, and even math. 

Through Coyote Trails we have learned that being outdoors isn't just about fresh air and exercise. It's about relating to and connecting with every part of our environment and recognizing that even if we live in a crowded neighborhood or city, we are still surrounded by nature. Nature exists everywhere and we are part of it. 

We are excited to be considered again for this amazing program. Without it, our students would miss out on an invaluable experience. 

Kind regards, 

Michele Parr
5th Grade Teacher
Oak Grove Elementary