Every year, the fifth grade class at Evergreen Elementary takes a two-day field trip to Camp Seymour for the Outdoor and Environmental Education Camp.

The students spend two days and three nights learning about the environment, exploring the various ecosystems, understanding natural resources and improving their outdoor and team-building skills. They study the life in the tide pools, underwater, along the shore and in the forests.

According to Ramona Dickson, president of the Evergreen Elementary PTA and a longtime Lakebay resident, the school’s policy has always been “never to let any kid be left out.”

So the PTA is sponsoring a fundraising program to raise $1,500 to make sure that every fifth grader is able to attend the camp, which takes place in mid-February. This year there are about 35 fifth graders at Evergreen.

“For many of these kids it’s their first trip away from home,”Dickson said. “So it’s a big deal in that way.”

The camp is also good preparation for the fifth-grade assessment testing that happens every spring.

“Last year my daughter went to the outdoor camp and this year my son will go. It’s a big part of the kids’science training,”Dickson said. “And it’s fun. It really enriches their lives and it’s one of the best experiences of their elementary years because they’re learning how to work in teams and also about how much life is teeming under the water and on the beach, and how we can impact it and need to take care of it.”

The school often receives support from local groups such as the Longbranch Improvement Club and Angels Guild, and this year the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation has also made a monetary gift with funds from their popular Cider Swig event.

The PTA is also doing two restaurant take-overs to raise funds.

They’ll take over the McDonalds Restaurant on Borgen Boulevard on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and El Sombrero restaurant in Key Center on Monday, Jan. 29.

“The kids themselves will be at the McDonalds take over,”Dickson said. “They’ll be helping clean tables and wait on tables.

“This is such a great community and Key Peninsula people are always so generous. We hope they’ll go to the restaurants and spend some money so our kids can go to camp. It’s really an investment in our youth,” she said.

WANT TO GO?

The Evergreen Elementary School PTA will host two restaurant takeovers to raise money for scholarships for fifth graders to attend the Outdoor and Environmental Education Camp at Camp Seymour. On Jan. 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m., they will take over the McDonalds restaurant on Borgen Boulevard in Gig Harbor North. They will take over the El Sombrero restaurant in Key Center on Monday, Jan. 29, 5-9 p.m.

For information or to make donations contact evergreeneaglespta@nullgmail.com.

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