With schools transitioning to distance learning and students spending (understandably) less time outside, Cottonwood Institute has been faced with the tough question of how to make environmental education accessible and relevant in a time when we can’t do many of the things that normally make up a CAP Class.
Fortunately, our team has quite a few creative thinkers, and together we invented the “Thrival Kit,” a package containing everything CAP students need to build their connection to the natural world from home! Over the past few weeks, more than 50 students from New Vista High School, Angevine Middle School, Centaurus High School, and Aurora Expeditionary Learning (AXL) Academy have received their Thrival Kits in the mail. Inside they’ll find compasses, craft supplies, seeds and soil, and everything else they need to keep on thriving from home!
For the CAP classes that have moved online and continue to meet regularly, these kits will complement the topics they are learning each week. The New Vista Thrival Kits contained almonds and oats, so they can make their own alternative milks and determine which one is the most sustainable (and tastiest)! Meanwhile, students at Angevine and Centaurus will be able to explore the night sky with their homemade star wheels and practice their bear hang skills with carabiners and cord. It’s amazing how much fun you can squeeze into a padded envelope!
While we are thrilled to be able to continue supporting our CAP students as they learn from home, we hope to be able to share our curriculum more widely at a time when environmental education is being cut short in many places. We are hard at work collecting our “Best of CI” Workbook in order to create a self-guided version of our award-winning programs, so that students across the state and eventually across the country can join in the fun! Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we prepare to announce how you can get these materials into your and your students hands!