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KEEN Inc. Endorses Effort to Save Outdoor School

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 24, 2016) – KEEN, maker of original hybrid footwear, is solidifying its promise to building healthier communities by endorsing Oregon’s Outdoor School for All initiative, which is a statewide, grassroots initiative working to ensure the future of Outdoor School.

KEEN has risen up as leader in this initiative, supporting with a $10,000 capacity building grant and using its business to encouraging like-minded companies and individuals to support Oregon’s future leaders. In addition to its financial donation, KEEN plans to showcase its support through social media promotion and gathering signatures to qualify the ballot measure in the November 2016 elections to fully fund Outdoor School.  

“As a child who attended the Outdoor School and was a counselor twice, I realize the many benefits of getting kids outside of the classroom to learn, explore, and discover early on,” said Megan Vinton, KEEN Product Line Manager, Kids. “In my role at KEEN, I see the positive difference that an appreciation for the outdoors brings to kids and their families every day. That’s why both personally and professionally, I’m a big believer in supporting the Outdoor School statewide.” 

Outdoor School has been an Oregon tradition for more than 50 years; however, today less-than-half of all the students in the state have the opportunity to take their learning outside the classroom due to school district budget cuts. Outdoor School for All aims to secure permanent funding and expand Outdoor School so that every Oregon 5th or 6th grader develops an appreciation of nature and a sense of personal responsibility toward Oregon.

As a brand rooted in the outdoors, KEEN is committed to inspiring responsible outdoor participation to help preserve the places we all play through programs like the KEEN Effect. Oregon’s fifth and sixth graders are future advocates of these special places, and Outdoor School is an essential link to educate students about their natural environment.

“Support from outdoor industry leaders such as KEEN are vital to help Save Outdoor School statewide,” said Caroline Fitchett, campaign director of Outdoor School for All. “From teaching our kids leadership skills and building their self-confidence, to encouraging them to be good stewards of our natural resources, Outdoor School offers tremendous educational benefits. We’re thrilled KEEN has stepped up as a major partner in this effort.”

“Hands-on, science-based experiences in the natural environment are important to building future generations of Oregonians,” said Chris Enlow, KEEN Effect Team Member. “I’m proud to be part of a company that feels a responsibility to protect our environment while also supporting organizations like Outdoor School that foster positive change for lifelong appreciation for parks and natural areas.” 

For a blog post about KEEN's support, please read HERE.

For more about the Outdoor School for All, please check: outdoorschoolforall.org

About KEEN
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN, Inc., a manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, clothing, and accessories, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company’s operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at http://www.keenfootwear.com.

About Outdoor School for All
Outdoor School for All is a statewide, grassroots initiative working to ensure the future of Outdoor School by seeking to put its fate in the hands of Oregon voters. Outdoor School, a beloved outdoor education program with a long history in the state, has been cut drastically due to lack of statewide funding. Campaign organizers must gather 125,000 signatures by July 2016 in order to get it on the ballot. If the campaign is successful, voters will get the opportunity to decide whether to dedicate full, permanent funding for Outdoor School, using $22 million per year of Oregon Lottery funds to support outdoor school programs and outdoor education throughout the state. If the measure passes, funding to qualified programs could be available as early as mid-2017. For background and additional information, visit http://www.outdoorschoolforall.org

Media Contact
Keith Cozzens, Verde Brand Communications on behalf of KEEN, Inc., 970.259.3555 x122, keith@verdepr.com