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Teens To Trails Announces Grants for 8 High School Outing Clubs

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Contact: Jane Koopman, T3 Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 207.725-0800
Email: jane_koopman@teenstotrails.org
Address: 98 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME 04011
Website: www.TeensToTrails.org

“Teens To Trails” Announces Grants for 8 High School Outing Clubs
~ Engaging Teens in the Outdoors ~

BRUNWSICK, MAINE / November 1st, 2013 – Teens To Trails or “T3” is pleased to announce this year’s Outing Club grant recipients from high schools across the State including several brand new teen Outing Club programs. Grant awards were made to:

Bangor High School
Baxter Academy of Science and Technology
Deering High School
Maine Academy of Natural Sciences
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School
Portland High School,
Sacopee Valley High School
South Portland High School

With this years awards T3 has now supported 50 different schools with 77 Grants totaling almost $37,000 thanks to the support of Maine businesses and foundations as well as many heartfelt personal donations.. “High school Outing Clubs are the most effective way we have found for engaging teens in their natural world, with the potential to make fun safe outdoor experiences accessible to every Maine student,” said Carol Leone, Teens To Trails Founder. This year Grants to Clubs recipients were awarded support funds totaling almost $4,000 from Teens To Trails to help more teens get active outside. These grants were made possible by generous ongoing support from L.L.Bean.
This year, assistance with transportation costs will help to eliminate one huge hurdle these schools face in getting their students outdoors. Funds will also be used to ensure that all students are able to participate in the clubs activities regardless of their financial situation. “[Advisor, Gerry White] has consistently reached out to our underprivileged, immigrant and at-risk populations by encouraging them to engage in the healthy activities offered by the club. Through this endeavor, numerous Portland students have experienced wilderness hiking, watersports and land stewardship.” Says Michael Connolly, Co-Curricular Director at Portland High School. In addition, these grants will allow Outing Clubs to purchase needed outdoor gear & clothing, obtain safety training for leaders and cover recreational fees.

“Thank you, for your endless support of Deering’s efforts to get students out into and “into” nature and the beauty of Maine. We have felt so encouraged by T3 and we could not have done much of what we have done without your inspiration and guidance. ” said Kirsten McWilliams, one of Deering High School Outing Club’s advisors. McWilliams was recently recognized, along with co-advisor Jeff Borland, for their outstanding leadership of their club by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanual Caulk. “Deering is a club that we helped to start several years ago,” says Jane Koopman, Outreach coordinator for Teens To Trails, “It is exciting to see how far they have come and we look forward to watching the brand new clubs we have funded this year grow to be as successful.” New or restarting clubs this year include Baxter Academy, Maine Academy of Natural Science, Bangor High School and Sacopee Valley High School, whose assistant principal John Kaleta says “We believe that the funds provided by your grant will be the starting point for a new tradition here and begin a revived appreciation for the splendor of the Sacopee Valley’s underutilized outdoor resources.”

With increasing research confirming that positive outdoor experiences are critical to the overall health and well being of young people, these Outing Clubs need to be encouraged and supported. “It is our goal to establish an Outing Club in every one of Maine’s high schools,” said Leone. “The Grants-to-Clubs program helps Outing Clubs get started and stay active.”

Teens To Trails is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to engage Maine teens in the outdoors. T3’s goal is to establish an Outing Club in every Maine high school community, thereby promoting fun outdoor adventures, healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship. For more information on the Grants-to-Clubs program and Teens To Trails, visit www.TeensToTrails.org.