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NYC Outward Bound Celebrates 25th Anniversary

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    Ben Smith

From GlobeNewswire

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y., June 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Tuesday evening, June 12, at The Plaza, NYC Outward Bound Schools (http://www.nycoutwardbound.org) will honor its Board Chairs – past and present – in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Soledad O'Brien of CNN will serve as Master of Ceremonies during the Gala honoring the following Board Chairs: Mark Abramowitz of Troutman Sanders (retired); George L. Miles of Chester Engineers; Robert S. Miller of Workman Publishing;William E. Phillips of Ogilvy (Chairman Emeritus); Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. of The New York Times Company; Carl Weisbrod of HR&A Advisors & NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate; and Geoffrey F. Worden of South Street Capital.

In 1987, NYC Outward Bound Schools began by running adventure, team-building and academic programs for youth enrolled in the City's public schools. Today, the organization operates its own network of Expeditionary Learning public schools, targeted at youth from historically underserved neighborhoods, in all five boroughs of the City and in partnership with the NYC Department of Education.

"For 25 years, we've been transforming schools and changing lives by bringing out the best in students and educators," says NYC Outward Bound Schools President Richard Stopol. "The boldness of our vision, the steadiness of our growth, the stability of our finances, and the consistency of our mission in serving NYC's young people through their public schools is due in large part to the devoted and caring leadership of our seven Board Chairs."

A national school creation/transformation model, Expeditionary Learning emphasizes real world learning, engaging instruction, rigorous curricula, and character development. Students learn their core academic subjects through in-depth projects that often use the City itself as a classroom. NYC Outward Bound Schools provides extensive professional development to each of its network schools around implementation of the Expeditionary Learning model, and is involved in all aspects of their schools, including school design, governance and evaluation, staff recruitment, teacher professional development, and student support.

"We are proud of the accomplishments of the more than 55,000 City students we have reached since 1987, and of the successes of our ten Expeditionary Learning schools here in the five boroughs," Stopol added. Expeditionary Learning is a nationally-recognized school model adopted by over 160 schools throughout the country.

One of the alumni, Quemuel Arroyo, will give a 25th anniversary address, sharing what it was like to attend one of NYC Outward Bound's schools and how it prepared him to be where he is today. Reflecting on his experiences with the organization, Quemuel shared, "NYC Outward Bound Schools gave me the tools and exposure to help me succeed. Once you're willing to step outside your comfort zone, the opportunities are endless." Quemuel graduated from NYU in May and is now working as a Human Resources Analyst for Morgan Stanley.

More than 500 students, educators, local officials and supporters are expected to join in this recognition of excellence in public education. Over $1.2M is expected to be raised. Proceeds from the event will support NYC Outward Bound Schools' network of Expeditionary Learning schools and its adventure and team building programs for other public schools throughout the City.

About New York City Outward Bound Schools: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, New York City Outward Bound Schools is an independent non-profit organization that brings the educational philosophy and expertise of Outward Bound to New York City's public schools. Since 1987, NYC Outward Bound Schools has served more than 55,000 students and educators from more than 300 public schools. For most participants, involvement with NYC Outward Bound Schools has resulted in profound learning and for many it has been transformational, helping them to recognize how much they are capable of accomplishing individually and collectively. In 2004, while continuing to provide customized teambuilding and leadership programs for schools throughout the City, the organization undertook its most ambitious venture-- to establish and operate a network of small schools, in partnership with the City's Department of Education, incorporating the Expeditionary Learning school model which has its roots in Outward Bound's educational principles and practices. These schools provide demanding academics, real-world learning, 21st-century skill-building, character development and the support of a caring peer and adult community to foster high levels of student achievement.

Launched with initial help from grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NYC Outward Bound's schools are: Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, Channel View School for Social Research, Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders, The James Baldwin School, Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School, Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School, Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, Validus Preparatory Academy and Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School. In September the organization will open its first charter school—Launch Expeditionary Learning School—in Brooklyn. There are currently more than 160 Expeditionary Learning schools in the country. For further information, visit our website, www.nycoutwardbound.org.

The NYC Outward Bound Schools logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13193