That’s the Community Spirit

As I reflect on Session 3, our time was filled with laughter, connection, reflection, and a strong sense of community. I set out with the goal of keeping things light and enjoyable, not profound but simple. What I found in each studio has been anything but simple. The heartwarming experiences lived through the lens of “healthy choices” were a testament to the community we hold so dear at The Village School.

During our last outdoor school day at Ms. Jenny’s, the Spark learners were given a task, to build a fire. Many learners had not had experience with how to build a fire, what to do, and what even goes into a fire to get it started. A few of our fellow experts, including an Adventure learner, stepped up to the plate. They shared how we needed to clean out the fire pit, what materials to gather, how to create a structure that would yield the best fire, and how to stay safe. Our experts gave each learner a job. Some learners gathered kindling, others shoveled, and a few enjoyed the role of leader, making sure everyone stayed on task. The goal was clear, if we wanted to enjoy something together, we all had to work to make it happen.

The result was a memory that will be enjoyed for years to come. Each learner was a part of our team. Each learner had a responsibility and worked hard to build something beautiful and enjoyable for all. We drank hot tea together around our finished campfire. This community building activity showed how the Spark learners have come to appreciate each other. Each learner is an important member of our community.

The Adventurers! Words cannot encapsulate the meaningful way in which we spent our last session together. During the Rite of Passage. Adventure learners hiked to watch the beautiful sunrise, enjoying hot tea and coffee together. The quietness of nature and the sounds of laughter filled the air as each adventurer wrote a quote of what they wanted to bring into the new year. On our hike back to the park, we tied our quotes to a tree, grounding our commitment to earth.

Then, it was off to the park to enjoy two activities meant to appreciate each other. Laughs were dominant as they had to work together to cross a field and identify missing objects, all while blindfolded! Their memories and communication skills were tested. The learners excelled at working together to figure out the missing objects. Walking together, well, they may have needed some guidance to make their way back to the starting point. Needing guidance did not take away from the happiness expressed through this team building adventure. There was a true sense of joy and gratitude expressed by each learner through their Rite of Passage.

The community in Discovery has been evidenced by their strong relationships. Rallying around those that need support is a common theme in the studio. When a learner is struggling, hurt, or upset, many (if not all) come to the rescue, offering ice packs, help, and advice. They are truly there for each other, always wanting to be a support to their fellow teammates. The bonds of friendship that have been created in Discovery are examples to our whole community of how to be there for each other, of how to show care in a time of need.

As we wrapped up session 3, we discussed goals for winter break. Formulating goals around the dimensions of health were not done in isolation. They worked together, bouncing ideas off each other, sharing what they noticed (in a kind way) about their fellow learners and what they could each work on. They also complimented each other, saying how they wanted to be more like their friend in one way or another. Discovery studio emulates what it means to work together as a community.

The experiences witnessed in session 3 were truly gratifying. Our studios have grown since the beginning of the school year. The foundation of community has been built and we can see this through their trust in each other, belonging, safety, and caring friendships. We can’t wait to see how the rest of our year together unfolds.

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