Mission | History | Community | Running River School
We create the conditions to nourish and expand:
- The spirit of inquiry and wonder
- Intrinsic motivation and self discipline
- Alert, holistic, objective thinking
- Conscious, sensitive, harmonious living
We are committed to providing meaningful, experiential, nature based learning; parent and family education and comprehensive teacher training programs.
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In 1985 a group of parents and educators founded Homestar out of their shared mission to provide a program for young children that would address the specific individual needs of each child on many levels. They observed and studied a variety of approaches to early childhood learning and development. By combining elements from different educational theories and practices with their own experiences as parents and teachers, they created the comprehensive and balanced program which remains the basis for our approach to child care today.
Working with small groups of children, our dedicated and experienced staff carefully observes the unique development of each child. Through our observations and daily interactions, as well as close communications with parents, we help to guide each child's growth – physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual.
Essential foundations for learning, communication, expression, and physical health are formed during these vital first years of life. Respectfully, we assist each child through this discovery process, with the hope of instilling a lifetime love for learning. Of equal importance in these early years, is the establishment of self-esteem and self-discipline. We provide a framework or structure whereby the child can make choices that lead to positive and empowering experiences of responsibility and self-reliance. All of this is done in a consistently warm and nurturing environment, as close to home as we can provide.
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We have realized that for a school to be a truly loving, safe, supportive environment, it needs to be closely linked to home and family. Children need community. An even better way to say this is: “It takes a village.” On the other side, parents have told us how much they long for stronger ties with other adults and to build what used to be easily found in neighborhoods. This desire to belong, to feel as an integral and valued member of community, is one of a child’s greatest and deepest needs. For this reason, we have extended Homestar past the normal functions of a daycare center in order to create a community of teachers, children and parents.
Find out how parents are involved here by reading about Parent Involvement at Homestar.
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Running River School for Grades K–8
In the fall of 2000 Homestar was extended into an elementary school. Running River School is based on connecting children to themselves, humanity and the planet. Through these three connections, all aspects of education can be balanced to support the development of children intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually.
Running River has a strong, challenging and individually geared academic curriculum. It focuses on integrating all subjects through studying the natural world through yearly environmental themes that scaffold over the years. In addition, children are able to continue with experiential learning, using their bodies and their incredible love of fully engaging the world around them, to approach learning. Strong involvement from parents includes a Parenting Forum for all families to discuss education and parenting issues, and parent involvement on a monthly basis in the classroom.
Homestar Child Development Center and Running River School will someday be combined on one piece of property as an educational community dedicated to a balanced and holistic approach to learning and living.
Information about Running River School can be found at www.runningriver.org, or by talking to the Director, Nancy Monson.
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