Where learning is growing.
Where the child's growth comes first.
We Are Passionate About Child Development.
Growing Outdoors was founded with the belief that after-school enrichment should be more than just entertaining children for an hour each day. We created a quality program that helps each child develop physical, intellectual, and social skills from kindergarten through grade five. Our nurturing and knowledgeable staff are always present to support the students while facilitating the 21st century skill based curriculum. Helping each child develop into the best version of themselves is what sets our after-school enrichment program apart.
21st Century Skills
These are skills that children need help to develop because they aren’t developing them on their own. While parents may be worrying about math, science, and english, skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication aren’t being taught. Our program focuses on developing and practicing these skills that every student will need as they mature in this ever changing world.
We Call Them Exploratories
Children are specializing earlier and earlier these days. With a focus on giving children the opportunity to explore, we feel children are more likely to take a risk, push themselves, and try something that may be a little scary. When a child takes a risk, they learn and grow. That’s what 21st century learning is all about – pushing yourself to try something new, that may be a little different.
The Evolution of Community
Everyone defines community a little differently, but for us, it’s about helping children to see the world around them. To reach out to a peer, a neighbor, a fellow student, and to support them. That’s why each of the programs we offer will have a component that requires them to work with others, to support each other and to hold each other accountable for the choices they make.
What Makes Us Different?
It starts with the people and ends with the support. Children do their best when they are in a supportive environment. And we feel that the supportive environment starts from the moment a staff member is hired. When we take the time to group interview, individually interview, call and speak with multiple references, followed by a background check, you can rest assured that we are finding the best of the best. And if we can’t find the right staff members, we won’t run a program until we can. It’s that simple. A supportive environment for our staff translates to a more supportive environment for each child participating in our program. That’s why each exploratory we offer will have at least one Growing Outdoors trained staff member each day in addition to the lead instructor. And when that staff member has a question, or a parent as a question, there is a First Aid and CPR certified lead staff member on site until the last student has gone home. We know it is harder to to do it this way, but we know that the program will be better because of it.
Who Are We?
A graduate of New York University, and a Los Angeles native, Sam comes back to the child development field after spending 7 years in New Orleans as the Associate Artistic Director of a non-profit theatre company. His passion for working with children stems from his 10 years in the summer camp field, where he’s worked with children age 4-17 in a variety of different camp roles. He’s very excited to be back and a founding partner in Growing Outdoors.
As a long time child development professional, Ryan is excited to be a founding partner in Growing Outdoors. The opportunity to bring his knowledge to a new arena is exciting. As a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Ryan has seen first had the value of hands on learning, which is the foundation of Growing Outdoors. Ryan stays active in child development circles, a member of the BOD for a local private school, as well as leading community discussion groups throughout the San Fernando Valley.
How We Structure Our Exploratories
We find that children need to be surrounded by their peers, other children they can connect with and develop relationships with. Therefore, we have three levels of our program: Kindergarten, 1st-3rd grade, and 4th-5th grade. Depending on the school schedule, we structure each trimester to last for 8-10 weeks, with each class meeting once a week, and each trimester starting right after the previous one.
Exploratories for Kindergarten
Kindergarten students will have the following types of exploratories available to them:
- Playground Games
- Lego Masters/Robotics
Exploratories for First, Second, and Third Grades
1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students will have the following types of exploratories available to them (one for each day):
- Playground Sports
- Lego Masters/Robotics
Exploratories for Fourth and Fifth Grades
4th, and 5th grade students will have the following types of exploratories available to them (one for each day):
- Sport skills
- Pinterest Art