Our names are Grace McCarthy and Carolyn Holan and we are seniors at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. We took over REACH the spring of our junior year as Abby and Addie prepared to leave for college.
Addie Klimek and Abby Rathbun are recent alumnae of Hathaway Brown. During their sophomore year of high school, each of them spent a semester at the Alzar School, an outdoor school in Cascade, Idaho that emphasizes student leadership, cultural exchange, and environmental stewardship.
In September 2016, they began creating REACH, a program dedicated to bringing the love of outdoors, environmental science, and cross-cultural awareness to middle school girls. REACH stands for Reaching Environmental Awareness and Cultural Harmony, and is a monthly program currently set-up for twenty middle school girls – ten from our school and ten from Campus International School. Girls currently participating in REACH include students from Yemen and Nepal. Through REACH, we hope to foster a greater cultural awareness and understanding amongst each girl and promote the creation of long lasting friendships.
The REACH activities take place at various outdoor venues, including Cleveland’s Metroparks, and range from hiking and snowshoeing to learning about downtown Cleveland’s environmental history. Each activity includes an environmental science lesson. We believe environmental science is an imperative topic to learn about because the earth is at a critical point in history, and the more we understand, the more power we have to make a difference for the better.