Spring 2016–Celebrating 108 Years of Serving Youth PBC seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable young people through integrated experiential and Newsletter Date adventure-based programming in schools and at our outdoor campus.
GROWING & LEARNING I am thrilled to take the helm as PBC’s Board Chair! I am also really thankful (as are we all) for Mark Antin’s vigilance and commitment as Chair through several years of thorny challenges as we made the transition from a supporting organization of Princeton University to an affiliate and stand-alone non-profit youth development organization. As we move forward, I’m super-excited about our latest initiatives, many of which are described in this issue. Cheers, Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D. One of the many great things about PBC is that we support learning and growing, and we are constantly learning and growing as an organization. Case in point: last summer we launched a pilot Summer Bridge initiative for students from four partner schools. One hundred thirteen students came to Blairstown with their teachers free of charge for 5 days/4 nights to participate in programming that combined our experiential education and social emotional learning (SEL) work with literacy and STEM programming. The primary goals were to lessen summer learning loss; boost students’ problem-solving, leadership, and SEL skills; build school climate and culture (relationships); and deepen each student’s appreciation for nature. Instead of sitting inside on hot summer days, watching TV and playing video games, these students tested their courage on ropes courses and climbing walls, analyzed a book together, dissected owl pellets, and wrote journal entries to reflect on their experiences. For many, it was their first time seeing a star, swimming in a lake, harvesting a vegetable from our organic garden, falling asleep to the cacophony of cicadas, and experiencing the freedom of being outside in a safe and beautiful place. How did we do? Here are some highlights: One-third of the students rated their experience a “10” for “the best time ever,” and almost 80% rated it an “8” or higher. Nearly half the students felt more confident they could
be a good leader, more effective in helping a group be successful, and more tolerant toward others with opinions different from their own after a week at PBC. More than half of the students felt better able to cooperate with others and felt more comfortable being outdoors. For more information on the outcomes, please check out our website at http:// princetonblairstown.org/summer-bridge/ We’re excited to report that this summer, we will expand the Summer Bridge Program and partner with 10-12 high-performing schools and communitybased organizations from Trenton, NJ; Newark, NJ; and New York City, serving between 450 and 500 students. All students attend the program free of charge thanks to a number of corporate and private foundations including the Victoria Foundation, F.I.S.H. Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Rita Allen Foundation, Laura J. Niles Foundation, and the George Ohl Trust.
We are grateful for the generous support of these sponsors, and we need your help. Providing this high-quality academic and SEL experience free of charge is not inexpensive at $380 per student per week. Your support makes a tangible difference - please give generously and invest in helping to transform a deserving student’s life. With gratitude, Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D. Board Chair
Pam Gregory President & CEO