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Jeffrey Greggs, on behalf of Outward Bound USA
Golden, Colorado, June 30, 2017 – Outward Bound USA is pleased to announce the launch of the Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab, made possible through the generous support of The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation (the ‘Foundation’). The Foundation invests in youth-serving organizations to identify promising adult practices that build youth character and help translate this knowledge into training and professional development for adult staff and volunteers.
The Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab (the ‘Lab’) will identify research-based best practices for character development and translate them into professional learning for all Outward Bound Instructors. The ‘Lab’ will engage the most experienced program staff from the national network of regional Outward Bound Schools and partner with leading national research and curriculum specialists.
The Foundation’s support of Outward Bound reflects its commitment to recognizing lasting education solutions and its belief that Outward Bound, a national leader in youth education, shares its goals and commitment to provide character education opportunities for students from all walks of life and circumstances.
“Outward Bound is poised to deepen its impact with students while supporting the Foundation’s goal of advancing the field of youth character education” said Arthur Pearson, CEO of Thompson Island Outward Bound, who will serve as Director of the ‘Lab’ while continuing his duties as CEO of Thompson Island. “Outward Bound’s educational process is centered on the belief that education for youth should place equal emphasis on development of the intellect and development of character.”
The ‘Lab’ will establish processes to measure both student outcomes and instructional quality across a broad range of Outward Bound programs, assess their impact, and incorporate their results into industry-leading professional learning curricula. The work will be designed to be adaptable to a range of program delivery environments.
“The Foundation’s support has had a profound impact on our organization” said Peter Steinhauser, Executive Director of OBUSA. He added, “We are humbled and grateful for their generosity. Outward Bound is committed to supporting our instructional staff by further professionalizing the approach to character education, to which they have dedicated their careers.”
About Outward Bound USA
Outward Bound, founded in 1941 by educator Kurt Hahn, is a nonprofit educational organization serving people of all ages and backgrounds through challenging learning expeditions focused on character development, leadership, and service. As the pioneer and leading provider of experiential and outdoor education in the United States, Outward Bound offers over 1,000 courses throughout the year across the country. Outward Bound serves 40,000 students annually and has a nationwide community of more than 1 million supporters and alumni.
In the U.S., Outward Bound is a national network of regional schools dedicated to helping individuals learn through challenging experiences so they may grow as individuals and become active in the communities where they live and work. With expeditions in remote wilderness settings, in close proximity to bustling urban communities and in classrooms, Outward Bound serves a diverse population of students while delivering courses with consistently high standards of quality, safety, and results.
About The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund envision a productive, vibrant, and sustainable country that is a model of success and a source of innovation. The Foundation hopes to foster the development of models that can become the standard practices of tomorrow – providing support for inspiring projects, enduring partnerships, and high-quality organizations well after the Foundation sunsets in 2020.