The Every Child Outdoors Foundation reduces financial barriers to outdoor education.
What We Do
The Every Child Outdoors Foundation gives grants to elementary schools, so their students can more easily attend Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School in Corralitos, California. The Outdoor Science School is a residential program available to 5th and 6th grade students who spend four or five days living on site in the redwood forest. Students learn about ecosystems, adaptations, watershed and conservation through guided exploration and hands-on field study lessons. This immersive program allows students to explore the world of science, make new friends, and build connections with the natural world. Many students return to volunteer as part of Outdoor Science School's high school leadership program, and some even go on to become staff members.
A four-day trip to Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School costs $295 per student, which can be prohibitive for many families. Every Child Outdoors reduces this financial barrier by awarding grants to lower income schools within Santa Cruz County. Schools are then able to reduce the cost of participation for all of their students.
Participating school eligibility is determined each year by total percentage of students enrolled in the government free and reduced lunch program. The schools with the highest percentage of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program are considered for eligibility. Free and reduced percentages are obtained from the previous school year. Currently eligibility is considered for schools in Santa Cruz County. As the foundation grows and the amount of funds available for giving increases, the board will consider eligibility outside of Santa Cruz County.
The board will determine grant amounts based on free and reduced percentages and funds available. Generally grant amounts will vary from no less than 10% to no more than 50% of the programs tuition. Although our goal is to maintain consistent giving, there is no guarantee that a school will receive funds each year.
Currently the Every Child Outdoors foundation provides school grants only. As the foundation grows and the amount of funds available for giving increases, the board will consider an individual grant program.
The Foundation accepts Letters of Interest in March for the coming academic year. Schools will be notified whether or not they have been awarded a grant by September 1st of the same year.
Send your Letter of Interest to:
Every Child Outdoors Foundation
Attn: Heather MacDougall-Molloy
400 Encinal St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Fax: (831) 466-5946
• Over $100,000 in environmental education grants awarded to schools in need since its inception in 2009.
• Approximately 1200 Santa Cruz County fifth grade students annually receive a reduction in tuition costs through an ECO environmental education grant
• Approximately 54,000 hours of outdoor environmental education subsidized annually
• Research from Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California, Berkeley shows that on average, elementary school students receive less than 60 minutes of science instruction per week. ECO grantees participate in 14 hours of interactive science instruction - that’s 14 weeks of science!
"Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School is a memorable, enriching experience all students deserve equal access to, and not all have the financial means to go. Programs like yours help greatly."
~ Teacher, Ann Soldo Elementary School, Watsonville, CA