No Child Left Inside
An important part of The Free School experience is getting outdoors into nature. Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them. Not only do we regularly go on outings to local parks and go on hikes, but the school also owns a 200 acre tract of woods in Grafton, across the road from the Peace Pagoda, where kids learn wilderness skills and explore.
Another distinct feature of The Free School are the end of year class trips. Every group of students goes on a big trip in the spring, with our Junior High class embarking on the most ambitious. Our oldest group undertakes a major 7-10 day trip built around one or more community service projects. In recent years students have traveled to New Orleans to help with post-Katrina cleanup, and Puerto Rico to help clean beaches and learn about coral reef conservation.
The experience represents a rite of passage for them, not only because they have to cope with being far from home in unfamiliar surroundings for an extended period, but also because they have to figure out how to raise all of the funds and organize the trip themselves.