|Experiential Anchor Projects|
The La Paz Anchor Projects: Enriching the Experiential Learning at La Paz All La Paz students in grades k-12 participate in a yearlong consistent interaction with their school and community through a variety of anchor projects that are grade specific. Students focus at least one block per week on one particular experiential learning focus that is geared towards service learning. Through the study of Energy Flows, Nutrient Cycles, and Community Dynamics, La Paz students gain a profound understanding of their immediate school community and its complex relationship with their family, community, and world; thus transforming the self into a lifelong learner and active service oriented citizen. kinder through 2nd grade experience Inspiring young minds to develop a greater appreciation for their natural world is a primary focus of the Kinder – 2nd grade Anchor Projects. Through the management of the North Campus Recycle Program, lunch scrap composting, greenhouse, and weekly visits to the Flamingo Beach Resort Sustainable Farm students work together to make scientific observations and learn to care for their world while getting their hands dirty.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle The 3rd Grade Leaf-Cutter Ants are leading the way by inspiring La Paz students, teachers and parents to be stewards of their environment by reducing, reusing and recycling. In addition to managing the South Campus Recycling Program, students focus on identifying ways to use the 3 r’s on campus and encourage others to join them. Through the year-long process that includes visits to community recycling centers and the clean-up of various beaches, students will develop a better understanding of what happens to our waste and what we can do to lessen the impact we have on our natural resources and environment.
Garden The fourth grade Green Thumbs have the opportunity to help design and landscape their campus common area by using a variety of flowering, native, and drought resistant plants that attract many hummingbirds and butterflies. Students are creating a seed bank, learning how to transplant seedlings and propagate plants, and watching the flow of energy that photosynthesis provides as they develop their greenhouse into a sustainable model. Students develop a deepened sense of environmental stewardship by learning the importance of conservation and intelligent allocation of resources. Raising Pigs on Campus The 5th grade team is embarking on a year-long collaborative discovery of what it takes to successfully raise pigs on the La Paz campus. Through this journey, students will apply their critical thinking and problem solving skills to navigate their way through a hands-on learning process that meaningfully integrates all the subjects. Please follow the 5th grade adventures on their blog, Pig Style: A year of raising pigs on campus….a whole new way of learning
Chicken Coop The 6th grade team is bringing energy and creativity to La Paz Community School’s newest Anchor Project: raising chickens! This project focuses on building teamwork and tenacity while studying the educational, financial and environmental benefits to raising chickens on campus. Students first learn about the process of raising chickens through interviews with local experts and visitations to a local sustainable farm. The construction and maintenance of a fully operational chicken coop allows for students to integrate a variety of meaningful life skills into the learning process including but not limited to budget and business management, agricultural animal care, and intentional architectural design.
Native Tree Reforestation project and Nursery The 7th grade anchor project consists of growing native and adapted native trees in the La Paz tree Nursery and then transplanting them in previously identified biological corridors that are in need of reforestation. In collaboration with the non-profit SalveMonos organization who acquires donated trees from governmental organizations such as ICE and Coopeguanacaste, the students maintain an inventory of a diverse array of species and engage in weekly practices to document the care of, growth and location of the trees that have been planted in the region. Progress from the project can be viewed on the student blog at http://lapaz7.edublogs.org/ and visitors/volunteers/ideas for the project are always welcome.
Energy Conservation and Water Usage The 8th grade Anchor Project focuses on the Water, Solar, and Electrical Energy Flow systems on the La Paz Campus. The process involves learning about the Energy Flow System, monitoring the data, and educating the community on the flow system statistics and ways to conserve and preserve energy on our campus and in our community. Students work in conjunction with CoopeGuanacate (electric), Eloy (water), and Pura Vida Energy Systems (puravidaenergysystems.com) (solar), to ensure that our information is accurate and locally relevant. Students engage in campus tours to gain a “hands-on” comprehension of our systems and to collect accurate energy/water-use data. Check out our blog at: http://lapazschool8.edublogs.org/.
Casa Brasilito Big Buddy Program The 9th grade Creativity, Action, and Service class focuses their energy on developing meaningful relationships with primary school students from the local Brasilito Community. Through a collaborative effort with the Casa Brasilito program that focus on the improvement of social, educational, psychological, and environmental resources in the town of Brasilito, students act as Big Buddies throughout the year to several underprivileged youth. This development of meaningful relationships through intentional play and community service projects is transforming the next generation of Brasilito children into active stewards of their environment and community.
The School Store – CHISPA: Each year the La Paz 10th graders manage, operate and develop the school store; Chispa. With the mission to reliably provide healthy snacks and spirit gear in order to energize the school and its broader community, Chispa plays a fundamental role in the social and health education of the La Paz community.
Creativity, Action, Service (from the 9th-12 grade program of studies) Students engage in individual, personalized 2 year projects that aim to foster: creative thinking where students explore their own sense of original thinking and expression; action where students utilize physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle to promote lifelong habits of well-being; and service where students understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution in their community and society while developing social skills in real life situations that involve decision-making, problem solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions. CAS also focuses on meaningful reflection during the process of creating and implementing the project.