K-12 Programs

About Adopt-a-Class

The Adopt-a-Class program invites businesses, community organizations, and individuals who cherish Northern Michigan and its youth to join Au Sable in its three decades of work teaching local students about the natural world around them. Businesses, community organizations, or Individuals can adopt a class at their local school to support their visit to the Au Sable environmental learning center for great hands-on, outdoor programs. Our schools and communities are only as strong as the relationships that we build within them. Au Sable’s Adopt-a-Class program allows community members to forge strong relationships within their home places by investing in the education of local students.  

Teachers and School Administrators

The Adopt-a-Class program helps your students participate in great environmental programs at Au Sable Institute for free by gathering community support for your classroom. Au Sable provides you with print materials, pledge forms, and form letters (below) for easily approaching and cultivating local support for your class’s attendance at Au Sable.  Adopt-a-Class Handouts and Donor Request Letters allow you to contact local businesses, community organizations, and individuals to ask for pledges by mail.  A Pledge Tracking Form helps you track your pledge total and a Donor Pledge Form is provided as a receipt to the pledge giver. Once you reach your desired gift amount, your class will attend Au Sable for free!  It’s that simple. Contact Au Sable Environmental Education Coordinator, Paul Wiemerslage, for more information or assistance! 

 Adopt-a-Class Handout - PDF

 Donor Request Letter - Word

 Pledge Tracking Form - PDF

 Donor Pledge Form - PDF


Businesses and Individual Donors

Want to give back to your local community in a meaningful way? Consider supporting a local school through the Adopt-a-Class program. You can designate your gift to a specific teacher, grade, or school, and we will inform them of their award.  Or you can simply designate your gift to the Adopt-a-Class general fund.  In return you will receive:

Acknowledgement of your support through the school’s media outlets

A photograph of the class you supported to display at your place of work

A special word of thanks from the students for the opportunity you provided

Recognition of your support on Au Sable’s Adopt-a-Class webpage

Invitations to attend special events and activities that celebrate the Au Sable Environmental Education program and your important role in making these programs possible

Au Sable Institute is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All gifts are tax deductible. Review the gift amounts below to begin giving forward. Contact Paul Wiemerslage (231-587-8686 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) for more information or to start the giving process.

Gift Levels

Day Program - $500 Gift 

Day Programs provide grade-appropriate lessons that help students explore and discover the natural world outdoors. With 12 programs to choose from, your financial support provides scholarships for an entire class to spend a full day at the Au Sable Learning Center.

In-Class Program - $125 Gift 

Au Sable has designed special in-class programs that bring the wonder and discovery of the outdoors into the classroom. Our hands-on lessons provide students and teachers with learning opportunities that are difficult to recreate outside and fit comfortably within their school schedule. Your gift makes it possible for Au Sable to deliver one of these programs to a local school for free.

Complete Program - $650 Gift 

To maximize student learning through our outdoor programs, Au Sable visits students and teachers in their classroom before and after the group attends the Au Sable Learning Center. Your gift provides scholarships for an entire class to attend an Au Sable day program and for an Au Sable instructor to deliver pre- and post-trip classroom lessons.


Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies teaches environmental education to shape students into knowledgeable, thoughtful, and effective environmental stewards. Our Environmental Education program serves students throughout the Grand Traverse Bay area with field classes that build knowledge, skills, and character; spur their love for the outdoors; and deepen their classroom learning. During our 35 year history, we have taught environmental education to over 125,000 K-12th grade students across three generations. We currently serve 2000 students each year from 19 school districts in 11 counties throughout Northwest Lower Michigan.  Adopt-a-Class works on a community partnership model that brings together local community support, local schools, and Au Sable programs to support local youth by investing in their science education.