We believe in place-based education.
Camp Lake Stephens is a 160-acre classroom located in Oxford, MS with several habitats native to our state. Through this program, students don’t have a field trip; they have an experience. Students of all ages come to better understand the world around them – specifically the world in their playgrounds and backyards.
We believe that immersion nurtures change.
The idea of a student visiting our woods for a few days may seem trivial and unimportant but we believe that it can truly be a transformative experience. They have a chance to grow and mold their worldview as well as their relationship with the natural world through self-examination and active conversation.
We believe teacher is student, and student, teacher.
Currently, we have a young program and are growing our roots in this inaugural year. But over the course of this school year, we have experienced those necessary growing pains and understand the struggles evermore clearly, just as a young plant stretching to its limits to reach the sunlight. Through partnerships with schools and organizations in our community, we have learned how to communicate a viable, meaningful appreciation of the environment to others.
We believe in nurturing a practical passion for the natural world.
Just in the past four weeks, we have had over 700 students experience the natural ecosystems of Mississippi through this EE program. There were public school students, homeschool students, teachers, and chaperones- all of which were from the community in and around Oxford and Lafayette County. As we continue rooting ourselves, we are also looking forward to blossoming. Students and families of Mississippi should have the opportunity to invest in the land that they call home.
“Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens.”
- David Sobel “Place-based Education: Connecting Classroom and Community”
We invite you to the conversation that will lead you to the desk that is set right outside your window. Let’s G.O.!
The preceding entry was written by Philip Salter of Camp Lake Stephens and posted here by Nkrumah Frazier.