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!
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!
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!
NSA’s seniors are hard at work in the college search and application process. In the past month, students have worked with our College Guidance Coordinator and their families to identify the characteristics in a learning environment that will lead to their continued success.
Those characteristics have generated an initial list of schools that students are investigating, as they also work to complete applications, brainstorm and write essays, and develop resumes. Stay tuned for future updates in this exciting process!
NSA continues to engage students in rigorous, thought provoking investigation of the facets of Global Citizenship and of important social issues that shape our world.
This month, our learning community has been investigating the complexities of Interdependence and Conflict Resolution. Teachers act as facilitators of research, debate, and application of ideas and skills that contribute to the development of a global perspective and 21st-century skills.
This month, the team at New Summit Academy will gather for our yearly all-staff workshop and training week in our efforts to continue to improve the services that we offer to students and their families.
As part of that week, we thought that hearing from our families who have graduated from NSA and sharing those communications with our staff would help them to realize that they are doing and continue to do great work, and that their efforts make real changes in the lives of our students and their families.
We couldn’t help sharing a few of those communications:
--- “When we brought (our son) to you, and sat in the cafeteria space meeting everyone for the first time, I became filled with hope that he would find the help and support he needed to sort out and heal from his confusion. NSA felt safe and warm to me; I felt at home from the first.”
--- “Rarely does a day go by where I don't think about NSA. In fact, today I was wearing my NSA t-shirt while at the gym! Every person I met at NSA and got to know, impress me. This is very unusual for any organization. NSA has been important for (our son) and our family. I believe he was at his best there with you all. This has been a true gift for us. Bless each and every one of you. We love you all! ”
---- “(Our son) let go of the old, sad, negative self-image and tried and accomplished something new!! THANKS!!! I believe you ALL are the TRUE teachers of this world!! These are not adequate words to express my gratitude to all of YOU!!! Much love.”
--- “As I sit here thinking of special memories from our time at NSA, I feel warmth and love for each and every one: pulling the most delicious mangoes I’ve ever eaten from the lush trees, watching boys struggle to overcome their demons, connecting with parents who were in as much pain as we were and having no idea how we got there or what would come next, feeling silly trying to dance with Diana while full of joy at watching my son participate, sitting in awe of the leadership of NSA with a clear vision and passion for helping lost boys become confident young men. We learned how we got there and how to heal and to move forward with the tools and support of every person at NSA, including the staff, faculty, and even the other students.”
--- “Magic is happening at NSA and we are so grateful to have been touched by it."
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