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Learning Cycles

Partnerships serve young people

December 7, 2005

The snow has not buried evidence of partnerships that make life better for our children.

The other day, Doug Campbell and Michael Becker took a short walk in the snow at Hood River Middle School (HRMS), where the Outdoor Classroom Greenhouse Project is moving forward this winter. The project will give students opportunities for hands-on learning about the life cycle of plants and how they benefit human and environmental health.

Campbell, of Doug’s Sports, brought the school a check for $3,768, the proceeds from the Nov. 10 Warren Miller ski film, shown in the HRMS auditorium.

The total was a new record for the 15-year Hood River tradition, one that draws people from Portland who choose to see it in the historic HRMS venue rather than a less-ambient big-city setting.

Campbell said the 573 people who attended this year exactly equaled the record attendance set two years ago.

But this year the proceeds were considerably larger, thanks in part to a $1,000 donation from Hood River Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, and the $620 raised in the drawing for a Mt. Hood Meadows season pass.

The Miller film proceeds will be split between the Outdoor Classroom project and the school’s Robotics program.

In both cases, students learn with community members in addition to their own teachers. Both programs blend math, science, problem solving, research, and numerous other skills.

Meanwhile, on Dec. 6 a contingent from a new program at Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education visited HRMS. The Portland International Initiative for Leadership in Ecology, Leadership and Learning specializes in the study of the relationships between sustainability, science and education. They are traveling to see students’ hands-on work. One of the project’s goals is to become an education center for a variety of learners.

This means that, with the community’s help, a Hood River school will help graduate students to learn. The cycle continues, just as HRMS students are learning in the Outdoor Classroom.

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