Students began the Thanksgiving week participating in a Global Citizenship workshop focused on Social Justice and investigating issues that are important to them.
With this Social Justice perspective, staff and students then participated in a number of days of community service.
On Monday, students spent the morning cooking and serving at Caritas, a local organization that provides up to 60 lunches seven days a week for locals in need.
That afternoon, we got our hands dirty, performing garden beautification work at our local elementary school.
The following day, students volunteered by running a much-appreciated Bingo game at Hogar de Ancianos, Atenas’ retirement home.
Wednesday morning had students in the kitchen, working to prepare a turkey lunch to deliver to the kids at Hogar de Vida. In between serving lunch, cleaning up, and playing with the kids, some of our Spanish students entertained everyone with a presentation on Thanksgiving traditions.
On Thanksgiving Day, students and staff returned to the kitchen, but this time to prepare delicious food for our Thanksgiving dinner celebration.
We would like to express our thanks to every member of our NSA extended family!
At NSA, our Thanksgiving celebration is about dinner with family and friends, but also about giving back and engaging with our community to express our gratitude.
Students and staff have just returned from a successful round of Integrated Aventuras: hiking through Corcovado National Park, kayaking the Golfo Dulce, and whitewater rafting in the cloud forests of Costa Rica.
What better way to express Aventura experiences than through the words of students (and their mothers!) over the years at NSA:
Who knew that life at boarding school could be so interesting and so much fun? Every day, New Summit Academy’s students and staff share rigorous academic discourse, once-in-a-lifetime experiential adventures, unique cultural immersion experiences, and exciting recreational opportunities.
Take a look at what our students have done in just these past two weeks!
Each October, Costa Rica celebrates the “Dia de las Culturas” or Culture Day, to recognize the diversity and cultural traditions that make the nation such an amazing place to live.
Here at NSA, Daisy organizes a celebration involving the one cultural facet most guaranteed to engage our students: food!
Students and staff work to prepare and share dishes that represent their own unique cultural heritage. NSA is a diverse community in itself, and this year we gathered to enjoy empanadas from Argentina, plantains in peanut sauce from Africa, homemade Italian bread, along with dozens of delicacies from Costa Rica and the U.S.
Thanks to Daisy and all who contributed for a wonderful celebration of cultural diversity!
All NSA students participate in a Cultural Engagement and Immersion Program, which consists of language study and immersion, homestays, international travel, and a series of hands-on cultural activities that allows newer students to learn about Costa Rica and its rich heritage.
This month, students explored the Bosque de Niño, created on the slopes of Volcano Poas to protect important watersheds. However, our students don’t only visit sites as tourists, but as travelers who engage and give back. Students worked for part of the day helping to repair the road leading into the park, and felt the appreciation of local visitors as they honked and waved to say “thank you!”
Costa Rica was one of the first nations on Earth to declare Children’s Day a national holiday as a celebration of its youth. At NSA, we naturally celebrate the day with our community partner, Hogar de Vida children’s home. Our young neighbors were invited to campus for a morning of fun, organized by Daisy our Cultural Coordinator.
Our students played with the children, took turns riding an ox cart and horses, colored and drew on tables covered in paper, and shared a delicious lunch, all to show our appreciation for the children of Hogar de Vida.
New Summit Academy includes professional-level certifications as part of its program graduation, ensuring that students step out of their comfort zones and are challenged in areas of interest. Students chose from four options for this September’s certification week, and split into two groups.
One group chose to study English language teaching techniques to earn their TEFL Certificates (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Students brushed up on their grammar, learned skills for engaging non-native speakers in the classroom, and practiced experientially by giving English lessons to local Costa Ricans.
The second group took on Open Water or Advanced SCUBA Certifications. After studying the required theoretical information and practicing in the pool, students jumped right in (literally) to practice their skills in the waters off Playa del Coco. These are lifetime certifications that build confidence, opportunities, and resumes.
Congratulations to our newly-certified NSA students!
Each year, NSA has the rare opportunity for all of our faculty and staff to gather in one place to improve our efforts of supporting our students and promoting their growth. This September, staff met for a full week of workshops and trainings in topics that included:
• Student Areas of Attention
• Safety and Confidentiality
• Emergency Protocols and Drills
• Organizational Sensitivity
• The Self, Community and Future Teams and Processes
After a long but successful week, our staff gathered once more to watch a video put together by Stephen, our photography and documentary film teacher, filled with expressions of thanks from graduates and their families with whom we have worked throughout the years.
Many thanks to those who sent in letters and videos, and a special thank you to all of our team, who continue improving the good work that we do!
As testimonials from parents and students continue to pour in, we couldn’t help but share just one more:
“I am so grateful for the entire staff of NSA for their attention to so many details of the whole well-rounded program that helped our family through a difficult time. I felt very welcomed as a parent and regularly included, even though we were in another country for the year our son lived in Costa Rica. The fresh mangoes in May were especially memorable for me as we met with other parents and families during the first family session about three months into our son’s time there. I loved that you included time outdoors as a major part of the curriculum - as I firmly believe it is healing and provides clarity and peace to be outdoors. Our son loved the hiking and swimming and kayaking and seems to have a lifelong desire now to continue finding higher mountains to climb, both literally and figuratively.”
A number of New Summit Academy’s students are lucky enough to be earning English credit through our innovative Mastering the English Language through Teaching course.
Our English teacher, Brooke, who is a certified TEFL teacher herself, leads students in learning advanced grammar and teaching techniques, which students apply by giving English language classes to members of our community.
This is experiential education at its best!
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