Students Learn About Camping and the Outdoors at LearningWorks’ 21st Century Program in Saco

Students at LearningWorks Saco

This summer, LearningWorks’ 21st Century Learning Center in Saco is hosting students entering grades K-2 for a summer program focused on camping and the outdoors.

Students practice math, literacy, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) skills while learning practical skills for spending time outside. Students learned to pitch tents, made a solar oven for cooking without fire, and collected leaves and sticks for art projects.

Each student is keeping a nature journal to document their observations and findings. In the next few weeks, students will learn to identify leaf shapes, recognize animal tracks, and use a compass. The program is also planning on visiting a fire station to learn about outdoor fire safety and taking a nature walk to apply some of the skills they have learned in a real-world situation.

“Students have loved spending time outdoors and have been able to put into practice what they are learning when going outside with their families this summer,” said Colby Senior, Saco and Biddeford Site Director for LearningWorks Afterschool and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, Maine currently has 35 CCLC grants and 61 CCLC sites across Maine that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly for students who face economic and/or academic challenges. With strong community partnerships at the core of every one of its programs, Maine’s 21st Century Learning Centers help students meet academic goals and offer a broad array of enrichment activities, in addition to other educational and engagement opportunities for communities and families. Learn more about Maine’s CCLC grant opportunities at or reach out to Travis Doughty at