Adventure - Risk - Challenge...

A Sagehen Creek Field Station Outreach Program

Rope course teamwork | Backpacking | Reading | Class | Climbing


See the new ARC program website here!

Sagehen is very pleased to team with Program Founder Katie Zanto, & Program Director Sarah Ottley in offering the Adventure-Risk-Challenge Summer Literacy & Leadership Program (ARC) for minority teens. In 2007, we expanded ARC to students from both northern & southern California with our new program at the Sedgwick Reserve, UC Santa Barbara. 2009 saw a new Yosemite program.

This 6-week summer school program has been designed for motivated, high-level English Language Learner (ELL) students with leadership potential. ARC combines an intensive literacy focus with outdoor education: place-based, experiential curriculum. The issue:

  • Approximately 25% of our student population in the Truckee, Tahoe School District is designated as ELL, 90% of these students are achieving below grade level and will not pass the upcoming High School Exit Exam, and 60% of these students drop out of school before they graduate. Broader California statistics mirror these trends.
  • Motivated, high-level ELL students in California have virtually no summer school opportunities to raise their literacy skills to test out of ELL designation and enter mainstream classes.
  • Research has proven that literacy instruction combined with meaningful outdoor leadership curriculum can raise student grade levels up to 2 grade levels in one 6-week session.

After the intensive summer program, ARC graduates follow through with service projects in their local communities. Graduates also assist with public outreach presentations & new student recruitment. We offer tutoring & reunion opportunities throughout their high school careers. Many of our students are now leaders in their neighborhoods & are college-bound. These students are the first in their families to receive higher education. We couldn't be prouder!

PDF document 2008 A.R.C. Program Information --PDF [28K].

Articles:   Printable ARC handouts & info:

Additional links to press about the program.

  Word document ARC Curriculum--Word doc [39K].
  Word document ARC Activities--Word doc [109K].
  PDF ARC Student Profile --PDF [1.38M].
pdf2008 ARC poster & info -- PDF [224KB].
2007 ARC flyer & photos -- JPG [1.13M].
2006 ARC flyer & photos -- JPG [497K].
PDF 2005 ARC flyer & photos--PDF [1.4M].
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Photos, Video & More:   Radio & TV Programs:
  • podcast...Listen to or download a variety of programs about A.R.C., interviews with the Program founder & commentary from past students.
Examples of ARC Student Work:   Meet our Students!

Program Research :   ARC Job Announcements:

Word document Course Director position
Word document Lead Instructor position
Word document Assistant Instructor position

If you are interested in 2015 summer positions, please contact Sarah Ottley .


Writing | Conservation work | Kayaking | Course work

For more information about ARC or to become a program sponsor, contact ARC Director Sarah Ottley or use the links at left to make a donation to the program.

ARC is funded entirely through grants & gifts from the community. Learn more about our wonderful program sponsors here.


A searchable reference database is on the way! Until then, use your browser "find" function (ctrl+F) to search each page.