Week of December 18

I hope that you enjoy your peek into our last week of school before Winter Break. This has been an extra busy week with many experiences that involved thinking of others, learning about each others’ traditions and customs, harvesting and having fun! The highlight of the week was performing on stage for their appreciative family and friends. [video] Service Learning Last week at our holiday gift drive, our students observed and demonstrated giving material gifts. This week, they gave of themselves by walking to the adult condominium community next door to sing and distribute handmade gifts and cards to our neighbors. This experience provided joy to our neighbors, a feeling of sharing, and additional performing experience for our students. We were so proud of how the children sang and acted — they were real troupers! [video] Where did they go? Excitement abounded in Junior Kindergarten when the gingerbread people went missing! The JK students carefully cut and decorated… [Read more]

Who do we want our children to be?

There are many attributes that we all strive to help our children develop. Kindness, tolerance, respect for others, a good conscience and empathy are generally among those at the top of the list. All of these are qualities that can be fostered. Children are born without biases of any kind about other people; if only we could raise them to be free of prejudice by leaving them alone and not passing on negative attitudes. Unfortunately, in today’s society, biased messages are pervasive. Whether they are inadvertently hearing the news, or the adults or older children around them, they are exposed to negative messages about people different than themselves. Our children, also, are constantly exposed to negative aspects of popular culture. When observing children’s play that is influenced by princesses, fashion dolls, Transformers and Ninja Turtles, it is apparent that these stereotypes generally promote behavior that is in sharp contrast to… [Read more]

Week of December 11

December is a month full of fun and excitement in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay, as we take the opportunity to learn about and enjoy some of each other’s traditions and celebrations. Our curriculum embraces holidays as a vehicle for developing respect and appreciation for cultures and traditions that may be familiar or unfamiliar to us as well as to teach empathy through service learning. Our holiday gift drive that benefits children in the Guardian ad Litem program helped our students as much as the recipients of the gifts. Rather than just delivering gifts that their parents chose, our families were encouraged to include their children in the gift selection and wrapping. Learning about children less fortunate than themselves and taking an active role in helping them helps our students learn empathy as well as the importance of helping others in need. We are so proud to be part of a community that is… [Read more]