The Thanksgiving holiday at NSA is all about our communities, and celebrating and giving thanks to those who are such an important part of our lives. Our students had bountiful opportunities to spend time with their various communities throughout the week.
Some of our families were able to join us for a New Family Workshop, engaging in family sessions, academic workshops and parent-teacher conferences, as well as important family time together in Costa Rica.
Our families, real and extended, gathered together on Thursday to prepare and share an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.
Students also brought a little bit of the holiday to their friends at Hogar de Vida children’s home, making turkey hats for the little ones, and serving lunch to the community.
NSA is thankful for all of our communities that do so much to enrich our lives!
Osa Peninsula conservation highlights:
-Assisting scientists with cataloging native trees
-Fascinating workshops by Costa Rica’s director of turtle conservation and a scientist who tracks big cats
-Releasing nearly 600 baby sea turtles into the waves, and finding a mother turtle nesting during nightly beach patrols
-A spirited soccer game with students, staff and members of the community that transcended language barriers
NSA’s relationship with Hogar de Vida, our neighborhood children’s home, has grown into something truly wonderful over the years. Students and staff volunteer their time weekly to provide individualized attention to these children, while receiving much more than they give. In Costa Rica, Children’s Day is a national holiday celebrating fun and recognizing that nurturing children is key to a healthy future.
To do our part, New Summit Academy (and especially Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator) came together to organize a Children’s Day celebration for the little ones at Hogar de Vida. Our students escorted the children to campus, where they were entertained with games, participated in horseback rides, and shared a delicious meal with our community. Hogar de Vida is such an important part of our students’ experiences, and celebrating Children’s Day is a small effort to give back!
October 12th is celebrated in Costa Rica as Dia de las Culturas, or Cultural Appreciation day. Costa Rica recognized the need for building respect for diversity, and takes this national holiday to embrace the various cultures that make this country such a vibrant place to live.
With the understanding that one of the best ways to express one’s culture is through food (as well as knowing that nothing engages teenage boys like a feast), our staff came together to prepare traditional foods that represent a unique part of their own culture.
Members from all NSA departments shared with our students pejibaye dip from Costa Rica, empanadas from the Dominican Republic, tea from Argentina, traditional chili from the Midwest, and guacamole from Mexico -- among many other tasty dishes.
More importantly, each staff member shared their story, and why these meals hold special significance. Thanks to everyone at NSA for pitching in to make this celebration a success!
No other high school teaches Spanish quite like New Summit Academy! Our talented Spanish teachers, Daisy and Vianney, have worked to develop a truly unique Spanish Language program, which overlays grammatical learning objectives onto our yearly Cultural Immersion calendar.
This allows students to master Spanish grammar by studying and preparing for upcoming Cultural Immersion activities, making both their language acquisition and their cultural engagement that much richer.
Last week, students in all levels of Spanish learned about Costa Rica’s Bosque Eterno de Los Niños, Costa Rica’s largest private nature reserve, which was founded with donations made by children from 44 different nations. After learning the history of the park and relevant language skills, students spent Sunday hiking the trails and putting their new Spanish into practice!
by Dr. Danny Recio & Andy Myers (Oct 2016)
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.
Mother’s Day – and moms – are taken seriously in Costa Rica. Every August 15th is a national holiday, when families take time off from school and work to honor the mothers in their lives. With the help of Daisy, our Cultural Immersion Coordinator, our students and staff were able to thank our special community of moms, both those who work with our students every day as well as our wonderful homestay mothers.
Daisy and her team organized a special Mother’s Day dinner, where students not only sat with and entertained their NSA moms, but were in charge of serving fresh fish with shrimp, cleaning up, and even washing the dishes so that these mothers didn’t have to lift a finger. The evening culminated with students and all of our moms dancing into the night. Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms!
Each year, nearly two million Costa Ricans express their faith and the importance of family in a pilgrimage to the Cathedral in Cartago (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles), with some people walking hundreds of miles in the days approaching the holiday. As part of our Cultural Immersion program, our students and staff have participated every year for over a decade in the pilgrimage, though we don’t walk quite that far! Daisy works tirelessly to ensure that our students are prepared for and enjoy the experience, which is always a success!
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!