Check out this great presentation by Dr. Danny Recio and Andy Myers - given at the Young Adult Transition Association conference in October 2016 in Idaho, USA. You will learn a lot about the psychological and social benefits of an appropriate, supportive cross-cultural immersion experience on growth and complexity.
In order to prepare students for their upcoming adventure to Peru, the teachers and academic staff facilitated three days of workshops so that this international experience is as rich as possible. When NSA journeys to a new destination, it is important that we do so as travelers, not tourists. These workshops were intentionally designed with that goal in mind.
Students have been working with our English teacher to learn the intricacies of travel writing, studying the history of Peru with our Social Studies teacher, learning travel etiquette and curiosity with our Coordinator of Student Success, and pondering how travel changes them and their destinations through daily reflective writing.
Keep an eye out for exciting photos and stories in our next issue from this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Broadening and deepening student perspectives on their path to developing into citizens of the world is a key facet of our mission at NSA to prepare students for success in their next steps.Our innovative Global Citizenship program engages students in the study of the eight facets of Global Citizenship, while strengthening the knowledge that these facets are not simply a class, but critical elements to thrive in and contribute to an increasingly complex world. As part of this program, our entire community takes on a different facet in two-day workshops eight times per year.
Teacher “owners” of each facet – which include Human Rights, Diversity, Conflict Resolution and Digital Citizenship – design and facilitate these workshops, engaging students in real, hands-on learning while investigating local and global issues.
Our most recent workshop, focusing on Ecological Stewardship, included an analysis of the documentary Your Environmental Road Trip (available here: http://www.yert.com/film.php), and an afternoon Skype interview with the filmmakers on their inspiration and experiences making the film!
New Summit Academy’s innovative Global Citizenship program engages students in critical-thinking activities throughout their year with us, developing perspectives that apply to all of their classes and, with hope, their worlds. Twice per quarter, students and teachers focus on one of the eight facets of Global Citizenship: Social Justice, Diversity, Interdependence, Conflict Resolution, Ecological Stewardship, Sustainable Development, Digital Citizenship, and – this quarter’s facet – Human Rights.
Our community dedicates two days to the study of each facet, and works with students to create plans of action to enact change in their communities, and guides them in developing facet projects in their classes. This Human Rights workshop is focusing on worker’s rights and how our actions and purchases affect others. It includes an analysis of the ground-breaking documentary film The True Cost, and a Skype interview with its director, Andrew Morgan.
Classes, wrap-up meetings, Aventuras and meals - these facets of life at NSA make up a big part of our students' experiences. However, there are many more hours in the day and many interesting activities available that engage our guys in healthy recreational opportunities.
In Costa Rica, and throughout much of Latin America, Columbus Day is celebrated - not for the "discovery" of the Americas - but for the diversity of cultures throughout the continents created by our shared history. New Summit Academy is unique among high schools in that our students enroll from all corners of the United States, and that our international staff come to us from Costa Rica, the U.S., Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and other countries.
Each year, our Cultural Coordinator Daisy ensures that students learn about this important day and the impact diversity has on Costa Rica and on the students' everyday lives. In celebration of the cultural melange that makes up NSA, Daisy organizes our staff to create and share food and drinks with our students which represent the cultures from which we come.
This year, students enjoyed traditional Caribbean meat patties, Columbian arepas, chicharrones from Costa Rica, Thai massaman curry, and hearty mid-western chili.
Food is a window into and celebration of this variety of cultures (not to mention the best way to interest teenage boys), so many thanks to Daisy for facilitating this enriching event!
The month of September is a special time in Costa Rica, as proud Ticos celebrate gaining their independence from Spain on September 15th, 1821. Our Cultural Coordinator, Daisy, ensures that students take part in every aspect of this patriotic celebration.
Typical Breakfast Celebration
On the day before Independence Day, faculty and staff arrive to campus extra early to prepare a typical Costa Rican breakfast for our students. As students awoke to the sound of live marimba music, they found their teachers ready to serve them such traditional foods as gallo pinto, huevos rancheros, and handmade corn tortillas.
Staff (and some of our braver students) danced to classic Tico tunes, punctuated by “bombas” – short, comedic poems recited by everyone involved.
Making Faroles and Supporting a Local Elementary School
On the evening before Independence Day, Costa Ricans celebrate the gathering of citizens by lantern light throughout Central America as the call for independence was raised in 1821.
Children fill the streets, carrying homemade “faroles” or lanterns in the colors of the Costa Rican flag for a magical parade.
NSA students traveled to a nearby small village called “Altos del Monte” to work with the students at a humble elementary school to construct their lanterns.
Our students then took part in the parade, and further supported the school’s yearly fundraiser by purchasing plates of traditional food.
September 15: Independence Day Parade
Many thanks to our Costa Rican community for including us in their Independence Day celebration, and to Daisy, for organizing such a rich series of experiences for our students.
Happy Independence Day, Costa Rica!
Many thanks to the Experiential Education team and to Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator, for organizing this wonderful event to recognize just how important our Costa Rican moms are to our community at NSA!
New Summit Academy’s students and staff have just returned from an inspiring round of Integrated Aventuras: Community Service in the Osa Peninsula, kayaking the Golfo Dulce, and hiking through Corcovado National Park. Each Aventura – integrated with Experiential Education activities, engaging Academic classes, and Personal Growth work – challenges students to step outside of their comfort zone to develop important life skills while surrounded by the beauty of Costa Rica.
Below are some of the trip highlights.
Golfo Dulce Kayak Aventura
Exploring Corcovado National Park
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!