American Forest Kindergarten Association
AFKA is a national organization connecting educators, parents, and policy-makers, dedicated to the cultivation of the Forest Kindergarten model and ethos. Through this platform, our school joins other like-minded organizations passionate about expanding the American Forest Kindergarten ideals of child-led, inquiry-based learning.
Key Elements of Forest Kindergarten:
All-weather nature immersion time every day
Child-led Flow Learning
Inquiry-based Teaching Style
Child-inspired, child-directed documentation of Emergent Curriculum
Small class sizes
North American Reggio Emilia Alliance
NAREA exist to closely connect the practices and philosophies of the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy, to its advocates and education professionals in the United States and Canada and those individuals to each other. They do it through sharing knowledge, community-based professional development, and a unique, direct relationship with Reggio Emilia’s resident experts. They are a network of educators, parents, and advocates seeking to elevate both the quality of life and the quality of schools and centers for young children. They envision a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities, and humanity. Their mission is to build a diverse community of advocates and educators to promote and defend the rights of children, families, and teachers of all cultures through pedagogy that innovates.
Natural Start Alliance
Just like The Native School, the North American Association for Environmental Education believes that great beginnings in childhood start outdoors. We share their vision that "hands-on experiences in nature help build stronger, smarter, and happier children, and we believe that quality education for young children includes regular opportunities to connect with nature and the local environment." Natural Start Alliance is a network of outdoor programs that believe in NAAEE's mission of connecting young hearts and minds to nature, and fostering a stewardship of nature through those connections. The Native School is an active member of Natural Start Alliance.
San Diego State University
The Native School proudly partners with SDSU by facilitating post-baccalaureate student internship field work for the Early Childhood-Transdisciplinary Education & Mental Health certificate program. Student interns spend 10 or more hours per week supporting Native School students and teachers. Interns gain insight and experience for Reggio Emilia teaching practice as well as utilizing the Scandinavian Forest School model for outdoor learning environments. This is currently on pause due to COVID restrictions, but we look forward to hosting graduate students in the future!
Changing Tides Foundation
The Native School is a 2021 member of Changing Tides Foundation - a local non-profit that "empowers women to protect the planet." They work globally to raise awareness about social, environmental, health, and safety issues. Like The Native School, Changing Tides shares a passion for encouraging individuals and communities to participate in global solutions that will heal our planet. Changing Tides has inspired us to adventure consciously and strengthen our communities and causes by joining forces. We look forward to collaborating with CTF on future, local events!
San Diego Reggio Roundtable
The Native School is a participant of the San Diego Reggio Rountable, where groups of educators and parents join together to discuss the concepts of the Reggio Emilia Approach, found within the early childhood programs of Reggio Emilia, Italy. This space provides educators and parents alike to consider the significance of these programs and how their inspiring attributions to the educational community can be translated to our classrooms both within nature and at home.