We are an innovative, learner-driven community of empowered investigators and creative, curious thinkers. Serving children from K - 6th in mixed aged classes, our curriculum is built on whole-child development, creativity, project-based learning, peer collaboration and inspiring a deep passion for lifelong learning. Our mission is to provide our students with not only a quality educational experience, but also a meaningful life experience that nurtures and respects the whole child.
Causes: Children and Youth, Education, Environment
In the summer of 2020, in part as a result of the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, several families of previous First Pres Preschool students were seeking an opportunity to continue the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and child development for their elementary-aged children in an in-person setting. A Board of Directors comprised of these parents and church members founded First Presbyterian Elementary, a non-profit private school, with a plan to open doors to students in September 2020.
Through determination, collaboration, and infinite volunteer hours, the school’s classrooms, playground, staff team, and curriculum took shape, all amidst a pandemic. 31 students experienced a healthy, joyful inaugural year in our indoor and outdoor classrooms alongside peers and teachers. We are grateful to say we are serving more students this year and continue to be guided by a vision of authentically child-centered education.
Here’s our current needs:
IMPROVING OUR OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT
Our outdoor space has been very important to us during the ongoing pandemic. Much of our day is spent outside with the health and safety of our students and teachers in mind. As a Reggio Emilia inspired school, we view our environments as “third teachers” and value the natural world as a source of infinite learning opportunities and curiosities. One of our long term goals for our outdoor environment is to become a Certified Nature Explore Classroom.
Nature Explore Certified Classrooms are dynamic, nature-based play and learning spaces with designated areas for whole-child development based on research and field-testing. Since our inception in July 2020, thanks to our generous donors, supporters, and parents, we have been able to develop our space to include the following areas: Action, Climbing, Dirt Digging/Mud Kitchen, Messy Materials, Sand, Water, Garden, and Gathering.
Our focus now is on developing areas for Music and Movement, Nature Art, and Building, as well as installing a large shade structure to help make the space even more enjoyable under the hot El Paso sun.
Here’s what your donation will fund:
In order to continue providing our students with an engaging, safe, and dynamic outdoor environment, we are in need of funds to further develop the space, purchase sustainable open-ended materials and install a shade structure.
We’ve designated a space to construct a large, sturdy shade structure. It will be a 24’x16’x11’ high pergola with 6 posts and concrete footings offering ample shaded space for our students and faculty to utilize year round.
Your donations will also help us stock our outdoor closet with items that support children’s interests and creativity, purchase high quality, durable outdoor instruments and materials to build permanent art easel panels.
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