Kid Stuff

Longfellow Kids Set Course for Adventure

Laura Lash |

Longfellow Elementary School teachers Sarah Duerre and Carrie Gee, along with Holly Larson and UW-Eau Claire, have created Adventure Kids, an outdoor learning experience for their school’s 60 fifth graders. Additional leadership comes from Blugold Beginnings mentors and two college-aged advisors, one male, one female. Students engage in team-building activities including archery, scavenger hunts, kayaking, and working the ropes course. Each two-hour session of outdoor learning on campus entices the kids toward the collegiate lifestyle they could have should they pursue post-secondary education. Over three sessions, four weeks each, all Longfellow fifth-graders will have a chance to participate. According to Holly Larson, Longfellow’s partnership and enrichment coordinator, the program is paid for via the Jeanne Richie Memorial Puddle Jump Wellness Fund. “We raise funds for this via our 5K fun run/walk held in April,” she said. “In addition to this, last year we were selected as a community partner to the Eau Claire Marathon, which means a portion of the funds raised at the marathon went to our (fund).” Duerre notes that students are often told about the academic importance of higher education, but don’t understand what happens in non-academic life. “For our students to see this is a real bonus and may encourage them to work hard to go on to college,” she says.