2017 Wilson Community Growth Grant Awardees Announced

GRASSROOTS PROJECTS CHOSEN AS $1,000 WILSON COMMUNITY GROWTH GRANTEES

Philadelphia, PA -- The Wilson Family, in partnership with Orienteering USA, is pleased to announce the 2017 Wilson Community Growth Grantees. These $1,000 grants will be used to develop an orienteering unit at a Maple Valley, Washington middle school and expand youth programming offered by Navigation Games, Inc. in the Cambridge, Massachusetts community and beyond.

Project Director Sherri Brady, in conjunction with the Physical Education faculty at Tahoma Middle School in Maple Valley will develop a curriculum that harnesses the enthusiasm of dedicated volunteers and the network of trails on school property. The grant will be administered by local Orienteering USA chapter, Cascade Orienteering Club (COC). Bob Forgrave, President of COC writes, “This grant is the next logical step in building a strong core of orienteering supporters in the South Puget Sound area by creating curriculum units that engage the natural creativity of youth. It is my hope and expectation that this program will serve as a model for other schools in our region.”

Our other grantee, Navigation Games, Inc., was founded in 2015 by members of three Orienteering USA clubs and two schoolteachers, with the immediate aim of teaching orienteering and raising awareness about the sport in Cambridge and its surrounding communities. President Barb Bryant has led in-school and after-school orienteering programming for over a decade and created the organization to meet growing demand. Navigation Games creates true mentorship opportunities by hiring teens to learn orienteering, make maps, design lesson plans, and teach skills. In fact, Ethan Childs, a 2015 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award winner, served as Assistant Director of the 2016 seven-week summer program, and has stayed on through the school year to organize events, coach teams, and teach classes.

The impact of the grants will be felt immediately as Tahoma Middle School launches an orienteering unit in PE classes beginning in May. In the meantime, funds will help offset mapping costs along with equipment and materials. Trained orienteers will offer a workshop and help PE teachers to facilitate this outdoor program. Grant funds will be used by Navigation Games to empower five teens to bring their experience and mentorship to several spring programs and events.

Brady and Bryant have been long-time members of the orienteering community. Brady is currently Land Permission Coordinator for COC and is a Washington Interscholastic School League coach. Bryant has held numerous leadership roles for orienteering clubs and the national organization. She received the 2016 Silva Community Service Award for demonstrating outstanding service to orienteering in the United States.

This award honors the memory of Iain Wilson. Iain would be delighted by how many new orienteers will get their first exposure to the sport through these projects. Grantees are selected through a competitive application and review process. Iain’s sister Kate writes, “We are thrilled with the long-term impact these projects will have as they inspire young athletes and develop into sustainable programs that will touch the lives of hundreds of individuals.”

Orienteering USA President Kris Beecroft writes, "We are so pleased to be partnering with The Wilson Awards to recognize the innovative and impactful work being done with orienteering at the grassroots level. I am excited to see all of the new orienteers that these programs will bring into our sport."


About Orienteering USA

As the sport’s national federation, Orienteering USA represents thousands of orienteers throughout the country.  For more information or to join, visit www.orienteeringusa.org

About The Wilson Community Growth Grant

The Wilson Community Growth Grant seeks to develop and help implement programs aimed at expanding access to orienteering for youth. It is part of the Iain Wilson Awards, established in 2013 to support the efforts of young orienteers. Learn more at http://www.orienteeringusa.com/wilsongrant

posted 23 March 2017