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Incline Education Fund (IEF) is piloting an Outdoor Resilience program for Incline Elementary School (IES) students to help them build resiliency and address the social-emotional toll of the recent pandemic.
Every 5th grader at IES is participating in fun outdoor adventure activities such as snowshoeing, hiking, and eventually other summer and winter sports activities in the Lake Tahoe area. The goal of the Courage Project is to provide an opportunity for IES students to build emotional and behavioral self-regulation skills and teach them adaptive ways to respond to stress.
Elementary school counselor Tracy Hoerth is running the program in partnership with Dr Brie Moore, PhD, a leading child psychologist who developed the Courage Project curriculum.
Evidence shows that regular, supported access to coping skills classes helps to promote student self-reliance and resilience in the face of short- and long-term social, academic and occupational stressors.
Even before the pandemic, the nationwide rates of childhood anxiety and depression had been steadily increasing. Currently, 1 in 5 children meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosable disorder. This problem is compounded by both a dearth of high-quality care, its cost, and in rural communities like ours, access – particularly for the underserved population.
Clinical data shows that there is a strong connection between emotional skills training and academic achievement. With the successful pilot of this program, IES students develop the confidence, motivation, and fortitude necessary to succeed in school – both academically and emotionally.