Nature-based grant benefits adventure quests at Casco Bay High School

Casco Bay High School students will benefit from a new Get Into Nature initiative with a $15,000 grant from the National Recreation Foundation.

The foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to creating more just and equitable access to recreation programs. Among recipients of the first grants from the nationwide initiative will be Rippleffect’s annual senior and freshman adventure quests at CBHS.

Rippleffect is a Portland-based youth development organization whose adventure and wilderness experience programs reach underserved children in Maine. Grants help all students participate in outdoor learning experiences, regardless of family income. The freshman quest involves students kayaking and engaging in community-building this year. CBHS senior crews will set off on four-day, kayaking-centered expeditions.

“Casco Bay Quests are … the experiences that imprint on students the glories of Maine and the importance of challenge, collaboration and outdoor learning to a joyous life,” CBHS Principal Derek Pierce said. “This kind of experience is especially crucial for young people’s wellness now as they rebuild their connections to one another and the natural world.

OUT Maine initiates new book program

OUT Maine has launched “Read the Rainbow,” a program that places LGBTQ+ inclusive books into Maine’s school libraries. The curated book sets increase visibility, celebrate diversity and foster supportive communities. For every $400 donated to the Read the Rainbow Program, OUT Maine will send a set of 20 or more books to a school library in Maine. There are four book sets available based on grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

To learn more, and to donate to the program, see outmaine.org/read-the-rainbow.

OUT Maine’s goal is to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, visit outmaine.org.