By Gabriella Karina     12/4/2018

Saint Anne School in Santa Ana received a $25,000 grant for Outdoor Education from ECMC Foundation.  Students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade attended a three-day Pali Institute outdoor education in October.  

A survey conducted at the school found that only about 18 percent of the student body had ever taken more than five hikes in their lifetime; most had never been on a hike.  

“My experience of Pali Institute Camp was fantastic. We learned about water biology, astrology, teamwork, and we learned how to construct a structure to withstand an earthquake,” Mia Pacho said. 

Pali Institute introduces experiential education to students. The institute is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. There are over 30 class modules in the categories of outdoor education, science and leadership. Saint Anne students took part in at least six different science classes, took a night hike, learned about constellations at night, took part in rope activities to gain greater confidence and cooperation amongst each other.   

The school conducted another survey after the camp and found that more than a fourth of the students attended are interested in learning about what it means to be a freshwater biologist. Twenty-four percent of the students said they thought of becoming a park ranger to protect wild spaces, and 24 percent want to become an environmental scientist to protect the earth from pollution and global warming.  

“My experience at Pali was adventurous and fun. I was able to learn about teamwork and was able to make new friends and connect with my class and other students from other schools. The lessons we learned helped our knowledge for regular common core classes at school,” said Jazelle Ruiz, a seventh-grade student. 

The community is grateful for the grant they received through ECMC Foundation, a national foundation that makes investments in college success and career readiness.  

Saint Anne School serves students in preschool through grade eight from Saint Anne Parish and neighboring communities. Following the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, educators help students clarify and live out the values of the Catholic faith, cultivate skills in decision-making, and develop a sense of responsibility in a safe learning environment. To learn more about the school, visit or call (714) 542-9328.