We are launching this summer in Mills River, NC a six-week summer academic enrichment program called Terra Summer. It is an experiential, interdisciplinary program that uses the magical world of food—from growing to cooking to eating—to teach children elements of a rigorous academic curriculum while exploring local and global social, environmental, economic, and health issues.
Terra Summer is a fun, exploratory program designed to accelerate student learning, keep children from falling behind, and positively affect character development by connecting children to themselves, others, and the world at large. Through the process of growing food at the school’s organic farm, cooking in the school kitchen lab, and eating together, students deepen threads of their school curriculum—from math and geometry to plant science, chemistry, history, geography, economics, and anthropology. Also, we reflect on and discuss a variety of concepts that are central to the Terra School vision: where our food comes from; who grows it and under what circumstances; the empowerment of the individual to make choices; our responsibility towards the earth, communal resources, and other beings; awareness of other lands and peoples; respect for our bodies through nutrition and exercise; how food connects us all, in strife and joy. There is a story—and an impact—behind everything we eat, and we should know what it is.
Terra Summer is inquiry-based, aimed at making children active engines behind their own learning. Our program provides opportunities for meaningful readings, journaling, portfolio projects, reflections and discussions. We take field trips, learn about bugs and worms, make pizza, plant gardens, make art, and run a produce stand.
The Terra School believes that all activities should foster care, compassion, respect, and a sense of global awareness and responsibility. Terra Summer is not a remedial program or an alternative program or a program designed for children with any particular needs. It is simply a program that uses a non-traditional vehicle to link and make sense of the array of wonderful topics that make our world. We seek a diverse group of children ages 11-14 (grades 6 through 8) who like to spend time outdoors and in the kitchen, who like to question things, learn about new things, grow things, and taste new things. Come make new friends, taste new foods, and look at the world through a new lens.
Terra Summer takes place on Jafasa Farm, a 16-acre working organic farm 20 minutes south of Asheville. The program runs for six consecutive weeks from July 6 through August 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The weekly cost is $150; scholarships, full and partial, are available. Because Terra Summer is an academic enrichment program, students are expected to attend the full session.
Terra Summer and The Terra School are founded by Sybil Fix, a former journalist and education writer and researcher, an animal lover and a foodie who in her 40s got serious about making her role on the planet more meaningful. Sybil is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University. She resides in Charleston, S.C. and Asheville, N.C.
For more information visit http://www.terraschool.org/ or call Sybil at 828-782-7842.