The Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC) is an academic program that utilizes environmental education as the central, unifying theme with which it integrates science, English, social science, technology, and math. WALC’s primary objective is to offer students an alternative way to learn in order to facilitate their accomplishment of greater academic and personal success. Field experiences such as hiking, camping, habitat restoration, and recycling are woven together with classroom coursework and provide the experiential foundation for a challenging academic curriculum. Outdoor learning and classroom learning complement and build upon one another to create a more interconnected educational experience for students.
Existing within the school day (aside from weekend camping trips) allows WALC to serve Balboa’s diverse population and allows any interested student therein access to the program. Independent non-profit status enables it to secure grant money to fund the activities other schools cannot afford, making WALC free for students. WALC is a teacher-initiated, non-profit organization ongoing at Balboa High School and Downtown High School.