MISSION The Science & Outdoor Alliance of Rockland (SOAR) is a developing organization whose mission is to improve science and nature learning for children through Nyack’s public schools and through the work of the Nyack Center.
What is SOAR? SOAR—the Science & Outdoor Alliance of Rockland—works to strengthen our children’s relationship with the natural world, including their understanding of the natural systems and myriad of species that make up life on Earth. This new project of the Nyack Center provides hands-on, project-based learning programs to spark children’s innate curiosity and bring the natural sciences alive.
In partnership with the Nyack School District, SOAR connects that sense of wonder to specific curriculum topics through experiential outdoor programs, ready-to-teach lesson plans, and professional development—all designed to fit seamlessly within the Next Generation Science Standards.
SOAR’s activities also include a partnership with the Nyack Center’s After School Program to bring children outside to explore and study ecosystems they walk past every day.
Why is SOAR needed? Increasingly, children grow up separated from their natural environments for much of the day, remaining inside and often inactive. As a result, they often miss out on the learning that comes from playing in the woods, splashing in puddles, catching frogs, and watching clouds blow across the sky. SOAR seeks to reconnect children to the world around them, while at the same time strengthening their skills for understanding the natural world through science. In this way, SOAR hopes to inspire a life-long love of both science and nature, helping our children become adults with the tools and knowledge to address the environmental, economic, and social problems of our time.
SOAR’s Goals • Tap into kids’ innate interest in, and passion for, nature and science • Increase their ecological literacy – their awareness and understanding of the natural world • Support schools and other youth programs to achieve their visions for inspired STEM learning • Reach out to kids who belong to groups currently underrepresented in exciting and promising scientific careers.
Please Donate to Soar. Help support these amazing projects, and provide "lift-off" for this new community program:
Or send a check payable to: Nyack Center, Nyack Center, 58 Depew Avenue, Nyack NY 10960
* Water Ecology and Stream Critters Program, 2016-2017 Support these programs in our three elementary schools (Upper Nyack, Liberty, and Valley Cottage), and the Nyack Center After School Program. Kids will visit our local streams and the amazing Hudson River, learning about watersheds, waterways, and the creatures that live in, and depend on, them. They’ll examine water samples and macroinvertebrates (stream critters) under microscopes, learn to see with new eyes water ecosystems they pass each day, and celebrate the extraordinary waterways in our lives.
Total needed for one year of programs in three schools: $6,500
* After School Nature and Science Programs, 2016-2017 Support SOAR activities in the Nyack Center's After School Program. Twice a month, SOAR and students at the Nyack Center will explore trees and plants, life in our soil, water and watersheds, and art and nature. They will learn about the different cultures that have lived in our local area, and how those groups managed their environment and used the species within it. Hands-on, eyes-on learning walks will take students to our local Memorial Park and other nature- and culture-rich sites in the area. Total needed for one year of programs twice a month: $7,500
* Strengthen Natural Science and Outdoor Learning in Our School Curriculum, 2016-2017 Support SOAR as it partners with the Nyack School District and our passionate teachers to strengthen natural science and outdoor learning in our schools.Teachers are asked to do so much—and often choose to do even more. SOAR is partnering with teachers, principals, and the district to offer curriculum-based programs and lesson plans, professional development, and other tools. The result is that teachers can seamlessly and easily incorporate outdoor, hands-on learning into their classroom science curriculum as they fulfill requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards. Hiring professional staff, educators, and curriculum specialists will allow SOAR to make our programs completely relevant and hassle-free for teachers.
Total needed to hire a professional to shepherd these activities in school year 2016-2017: $18,000
* Help SOAR Get Lift-Off Help us raise funds to hire a part-time coordinator! To bring consistently high-quality programs that directly fulfill the curriculum, allow teachers and schools to implement them with ease, provide outdoor adventures to after-school programs, and—most importantly— spark the wonder of nature and science in our community’s kids— SOAR is working to become more efficient and effective by building its institutional capacity. To date, SOAR has relied on the efforts and contributions of volunteer parents. We have accomplished a lot, but most of us juggle jobs and young children, and so this means that things move more slowly than if a paid staff person was at the helm. SOAR volunteers will continue to participate as advisors and steering committee members, and help with program activities. But the day-to-day operations need the attention of a professional. Please help us give SOAR the lift it needs!
Total needed for a part-time coordinator for 2016-2017: $34,000
Nyack Center - more than a community building; a place for building community. 58 Depew Avenue P.O. Box 764, Nyack, NY 10960 tel: (845) 358-2600 fax: (845) 358-5364 Nyack Center follows the Nyack Public School Calendar. Nyack Center's school-based programs and office are closed when school is closed.