This unique program aims to nurture a global world-view and foundational values in our children that will help them love and connect with themselves, life, learning, nature, community, service, diversity, and public spaces. It also helps them joyfully acquire real-life 21st century skills that will help them become part of the change to a more peaceful, culturally vibrant and sustainable world for all, which is the mission of Conexiones Institute, the producers of this timely program.
- Children´s acquisition of a second language gives them a head start in life on many levels. It not only helps their brains develop in the areas of creativity, flexibility and cognitive reasoning, it also allows them to communicate directly with a different cultural group that is a part of their community (the SF Bay Area AVENTURAS Program is in Spanish).
- Children gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the ecological and cultural diversity of their world through experiential and hands-on discovery of natural and cultural spaces in their community. These include parks, beaches, mountains, lakes, museums, libraries, etc. By enjoying these public spaces from a young age, they will more likely support them in the future.
- When children interact and spend time in the natural world they learn to feel comfortable in nature, learn how to walk, navigate and climb around within it, and how to be respectful of it (i.e. ¨leave no trace¨). Ultimately, by knowing it first hand and feeling comfortable in nature, there is a greater chance of them growing to love, appreciate and protect it as adults.
- Early literacy skills are supported in real-life contexts – the program ir organized around themes that start with the ¨letter/sound of the week.¨ So, for example, on the week of the letter A, we will visit places where they can explore and learn about ¨agua,¨ ¨árboles,¨ ¨arena,¨ arte,¨ ¨Asia,¨ etc.
- A small group size (max 9 children), allows for intimate and safe in-depth exploration of the day´s discoveries and helps build a close community and meaningful relationships.
- ¨The moment we teach a child something, we take away their opportunity todiscover it on their own forever¨ says Magda Gerber. Thus, the approach seeks to expose the children to safe environments where they can lead their own learning and discovery process. This helps build their self-esteem, confidence, and self-regulation skills.
- Includes making decisions by committee through a democratic process, thus teaching children from a young age to be protagonists of their own learning, how to lead and follow and how to positively negotiate differences of opinion in a community environment.
- Introduces children to the geography, geology and biology of their world and different ways of exploring it and expressing what they have learned. For example, they learn to use tools such as a compass, maps, a magnifying glass, a field journal, plant keys, binoculars, etc.
- This program’s approach is further inspired by place-based education, which ¨understands that students´ local community is one of the primary resources for learning,¨ as well as experiential education, outdoor education, emergent curriculum and Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
Offered in two incarnations:
AVENTURAS Day Camp offered in the Spring and Fall Semesters for 3-8 year olds (9am-5:30pm with complimentary shuttle offered Wed/Thurs). Click here to get vitals on current semester logistics, pricing, etc.
AVENTURAS Summer Camp – offered by the day or for full week sessions M-F (9am-5:30pm with complimentary daily shuttle to Berkeley). Click here to get vitals on our summer camp logistics, pricing, etc.
- Richard Louv´s website, Author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
- Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider (education.com)
- Academic Preschools: Too Much Too Soon? (education.com)
- National Wildlife Federation´s No Child Left Inside – Be-Out-There Campaign
- When ABCs are in a new language (miamiherald.com)