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The S.D Bechtel Jr. Foundation Awards Outward Bound USA $5 million to support the creation of the Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab for research-based best practices in character development

GOLDEN, Colo., July 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Outward Bound USA is pleased to announce the launch of the Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab, which has been 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 to help translate this knowledge into training and professional development for adult staff and volunteers.

/EIN News/ -- The Foundation’s support reflects its commitment to recognizing lasting solutions for education 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.

For the last 75 years, Outward Bound has pioneered the use of closely-knit teams and outdoor challenges to promote character development. The organization has helped tens of thousands of students discover that “there is more in us than we know.”

As Richard Stopol, CEO of New York City Outward Bound Schools has said, “Outward Bound’s educational process is centered on our founder’s belief that education for youth should place equal emphasis on development of the intellect and development of character.”

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 regional Outward Bound Schools and leading national research and curriculum specialists.

The ‘Lab’ will establish a process to measure student outcomes across a broad range of Outward Bound programs, assess their impact, and incorporate their results into industry-leading professional learning curricula. Data concerning student outcomes and instructional practice, along with routine peer reviews, will support and enable Outward Bound’s culture of quality and performance. 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, “This represents Outward Bound's commitment to support our Instructors and staff to help them enhance their skills and professionalize the approach to character education to which they have dedicated their careers. Outward Bound is poised to deepen its impact with students while supporting the Foundation’s efforts in the field of youth character education.”

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jeffrey Greggs, Outward Bound USA
pr@OutwardBound.org
917-691-5459

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