Our Outdoor School

Click here to see when Outdoor School ses­sions are this year and to reg­is­ter your class.

Given our world sit­u­a­tion today, it is not enough just to teach chil­dren about peace. We must give them the chance to live peace.” — Lara Mendel, Co-founder/Executive Director


“I will never for­get this expe­ri­ence, for it has been one of the best weeks in my 10 years of life… I bet if every­one in the world went to The Mosaic Project, the world would be a bet­ter place. But of course that can’t hap­pen, because it’s not big enough to fit the bil­lions of peo­ple out there. But if you pass on what you have learned… the world can be a bet­ter place. One per­son CAN make a dif­fer­ence if they try. That one per­son can be YOU.” — Maddie, Student

The Mosaic Project’s prin­ci­pal pro­gram is our unique human-relations out­door school. This dynamic 4-night, 5-day expe­ri­ence for fourth and fifth graders is offered dur­ing the school week. Three classes from schools that dif­fer markedly in socioe­co­nomic, racial, and eth­nic make-up par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram together, giv­ing the stu­dents the oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence first­hand a diverse set­ting in which all are wel­comed and respected. While typ­i­cal out­door schools focus on envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence, ours addresses issues of dif­fer­ence and builds self-esteem and com­mu­nity.

My 4th and 5th graders returned deter­mined to bet­ter under­stand each other and the greater com­mu­nity. The Mosaic Project has made our school envi­ron­ment more under­stand­ing and accept­ing.” — Kevin Eagleson, Principal

Our stu­dents never for­get this inspir­ing learn­ing expe­ri­ence. We reach them before neg­a­tive atti­tudes sur­round­ing dif­fer­ence become entrenched and we enable them to live with, learn from, and befriend oth­ers with whom they would not ordi­nar­ily inter­act. Together in a beau­ti­ful, nat­ural set­ting, they begin to rec­og­nize their com­mon­al­i­ties and gain respect and appre­ci­a­tion for the unique­ness of all indi­vid­u­als, includ­ing them­selves. They are encour­aged to over­come igno­rance and inse­cu­ri­ties which can lead to fear of dif­fer­ence, prej­u­dice, dis­crim­i­na­tion, hatred, and vio­lence. We pro­vide our stu­dents with the pro­found, per­sonal expe­ri­ence of build­ing an inclu­sive, egal­i­tar­ian com­mu­nity across race, cul­ture, and class bar­ri­ers, inspir­ing and empow­er­ing them to cre­ate such com­mu­ni­ties through­out their lives.

The Partner Teachers Institute turns the Outdoor School into a pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment retreat for our part­ner teach­ers. We pro­vide work­shops each day to give them the oppor­tu­nity to engage more deeply with the themes, music, and mem­o­rable Mosaic moments their stu­dents expe­ri­ence and to help them to rein­force Mosaic lessons back in their class­rooms. We build a sup­port net­work among our part­ner teach­ers through which they can exchange ideas and plan joint projects through­out the school year.

I saw a patient who I had noted last year had been upset by bul­ly­ing at school. I asked him how that was this year. He said, ‘It’s not a prob­lem any­more. My class went to The Mosaic Project.’” — Dr. Robin Winokur

Outcomes

By the end of The Mosaic Project’s Outdoor School, our stu­dents will:

have had a fun, mem­o­rable, and trans­for­ma­tional life expe­ri­ence in a beau­ti­ful, nat­ural out­door set­ting

have devel­oped a mul­ti­tude of con­crete socio-emotional skills

includ­ing:

  • recog­ni­tion, man­age­ment, and healthy expres­sion of emo­tions
  • vocab­u­lary and capac­ity to talk about chal­leng­ing issues
  • team­work and coop­er­a­tion
  • empa­thy and appre­ci­a­tion for the per­spec­tives of oth­ers
  • resilience and self-care
  • com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­flict res­o­lu­tion tools, includ­ing:
    • lis­ten­ing
    • effec­tively nav­i­gat­ing con­flict non­vi­o­lently
    • under­stand­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing pas­sive, aggres­sive, and assertive behav­ior and demon­strat­ing the abil­ity to be assertive
    • being an ally to oth­ers and know­ing how to pre­vent and stop bul­ly­ing


value diver­sity and have devel­oped con­crete skills to thrive and act justly in an increas­ingly diverse soci­ety

includ­ing:

  • under­stand­ing and being able to iden­tify stereo­types, prej­u­dice, and dis­crim­i­na­tion
  • rec­og­niz­ing and respect­ing each person’s unique­ness and inher­ent value
  • feel­ing con­fi­dent in nav­i­gat­ing cul­tur­ally diverse con­texts
  • being inclu­sive of oth­ers
  • build­ing rela­tion­ships across lines of dif­fer­ence
  • under­stand­ing fair­ness and human rights


have devel­oped their self-efficacy and com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing pos­i­tive social change

  • have height­ened self esteem, self respect, and self expres­sion
  • under­stand our inter­con­nec­tion and impact on one another and the envi­ron­ment
  • have cul­ti­vated a sense of agency and capac­ity to be an agent of pos­i­tive change
  • be com­mit­ted to work­ing towards build­ing peace­ful, inclu­sive com­mu­ni­ties through­out their lives


Register for our ses­sions.

Read a Summary of our pro­gram eval­u­a­tion and a draft of our Logic Model.

Frequently Asked Questions of Parents