Durango School District 9-R is looking for donations of outdoor gear to help Pathways to Independence, the district’s special-education program for students 18 to 21 years of age.
The district recently added outdoor activities to the program.
“We have noted tremendous growth in communication, teamwork, independence and self-advocacy skills in just one season of outdoor recreation activities,” Devon Parson, program coordinator of Pathways to Independence, said in a news release.
“We would like to expand these skills in order to build an outdoor education component of the program. Through owning our own equipment, the program will become sustainable and provide access to the great outdoors for all future students,” Parson said.
Pathways to Independence is asking for donations of new or gently used outdoor equipment such as tents, head lamps, camping stoves, life jackets and camping gear, all of which will be used by students to participate in outdoor activities.
Pathways students also gain working experience at Common Grounds Café, a coffee cart run through a partnership with the Durango Public Library, 9-R, San Juan BOCES and local businesses. The café is run by students from Pathways to Independence and Durango High School students who are enrolled in the BEST (Building Employment Skills through Training) program.
Community members can support the Pathways to Independence program by patronizing Common Grounds Café, open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday in the lobby of the Durango Public Library or by visiting durangoschools.org/pathways-independence to learn how to donate outdoor gear or to make a financial donation towards the purchase of outdoor equipment.