The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF) is giving students from disadvantaged classes, access to its outdoor education programs, during the 2019-2020 school year. As part of the initiative, tuition and transportation costs will be covered for all 12 participating schools from the city of Ottawa.
More than 10,000 elementary and secondary school students from all over are welcomed every year to the Outdoor Education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain conservation areas. During that time, students attend sessions taught by certified teachers and get to experience nature while learning about science and conservation.
Winners are chosen through the Ministry of Education’s list of priority schools, which is based on national census income data. From there, the RVCF works with local school boards directly to figure out which schools would benefit more from the program.
According to the foundation, learning through outdoor active play can have positive impact on the physical, emotional, and mental health of minors, since more and more children seem to suffer from “nature deficit disorder”. A condition they describe as “a lack of connection with the natural world”.