Nestled in the rolling hills of Moscow, Idaho, Palouse Prairie Charter School (PPCS) offers a unique approach to learning for children grades K-8. PPCS focuses on expeditionary learning–what makes the school different is what is at the heart of the school, expeditions. This is where kids are learning in an in-depth way, creating an authentic final product that’s of service to the community. There’s a strong focus on building culture with students so they are comfortable taking risks and collaborating with each other, building skills they’ll use in their life and their careers. Because it’s a charter school, PPCS doesn’t receive the same local funds as other schools, which means they’re constantly fundraising. To date, PPCS has raised more than $1,600 with Schoola.
PPCS’ Schoola fundraiser focused on raising money to support a sustainable adventure program. The middle school classrooms go on weeklong adventures. Sixth grade went to a science camp that has adventure built in it. Adventure means physical and intellectual risks that are embedded into the curriculum. Each child was asked to give $200, but 40% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunches and have trouble affording the program. PPCS needed to raise $1,300 to sponsor students to go on this week-long adventure.
The 7/8th grade class went to the San Juan Islands in Washington State where they whale watched, viewing transient orca whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions. They conducted fieldwork at the Whale Museum, and teachers reported that the students really exhibited a lot of responsibility. After four months of studying Orca whales in the classroom, these students got to see whales in their natural habitat, a truly life-altering experience.
These expeditions are an incredible opportunity for students to be away from their family and bond as a class (a.k.a. crew), experience outdoor adventure and investigate the natural world through authentic fieldwork, and grow as people. They come away from their adventures realizing they can do something they never thought possible, and discovering something new about themselves.
Here’s what Jeneille, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at PPCS, said about her school’s experience fundraising with Schoola: “This was such an easy fundraiser. It didn’t require a lot of manpower and this is an opportunity for everybody to just do a little part. It’s really easy for someone to go through their closet and it doesn’t take much organization or personnel to accomplish the fundraiser–the fact that we were sent prepaid shipping labels, for instance, makes it really simple. Even family members that don’t have students at the school were able to participate–my sister ordered a bag and she just dropped it off at the post office. And she sent our mom and brother a bag because it’s so easy to do. And it can even reach a larger community in general than just our families.”
You can still support Palouse Prairie Charter School by shopping their items, and help them continue to fundraise for their school’s expeditions!