In 2017, SEA decided to focus its efforts on nurturing its flagship program, Calyx Community Arts School, the 347-acre classroom at South Whidbey State Park. Calyx nurtures the next generation of environmental and social justice stewards through connected, humane, place-based education, including a nature school, nature camps, outdoor afterschool programs and community environmental and service learning opportunities.
Founded in 2011, Calyx arises out of an urgent need for transformative models of education that support healthy and sustainable life on earth, and provide meaningful opportunities for deep connection to nature, community and self. Through low and no cost programming, Calyx is helping to grow the next generation of muddy, nature connected kids who are wise and empowered to make positive change in the world.
Calyx partners with community organizations to expand its reach and deepen learning. We accomplish our mission through the SEA/Calyx collaborative agreement with WA State Parks where we exchange service and stewardship for onsite learning. Other partnerships have included: Buffalo Field Campaign, Langley Whale Center, Orca Network, SkyRoot Farm, South Whidbey School District, South Whidbey Tilth, Whidbey Audubon Society, Whidbey Camano Land Trust, Whidbey Institute, and Young Women Empowered (Seattle).
For more information about Calyx, visit www.CalyxSchool.org
Bringing Learning to Life!
SEA’s Bringing Learning to Life Project is an example of SEA’s dual track programming, which combines real-world learning with transformative systems work to support a sustainable transformation of educational culture.
Real-World Learning: In Bringing Learning to Life programs, students engaged in community-based learning that linked curricula to real-world problems. Local, place-based experiences introduced students to environmental and sustainability issues, employed STEM perspectives and project-based learning, cultivated 21st century skills and cultivated service opportunities. These programs facilitated connection between youth and their environment based on direct experience and spirited engagement with place. The programs increased students’ sense of connection with the Salish Sea region and inspired them with opportunities to make a difference.
Transforming Systems: SEA has been appreciated by Puget Sound teachers and environmental organizations for the way we operate as a cultural ferryboat: SEA travels across systems to connect school and community stakeholders who otherwise would not find their way to each others’ territory. As part of the Bringing Learning to Life program, SEA offered professional development trainings for teachers and representatives of community-based organizations. These trainings have explored how to integrate meaningful community-based and project-based learning for students as well as develop sustainable, long-term collaborations.