The Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School is starting this fall!
Aurora Lights, a state-wide environmental nonprofit, is proud to announce the opening of the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School (Mountain SOL) for Fall 2014 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Located on the campus of Morgantown Learning Academy, Mountain SOL will be offering in-class environmental education programs to the students at MLA and afterschool outdoor education classes to all local students. Morgantown Learning Academy is a non-profit, non-church affiliated, private school for children from preschool to eighth grade located in Morgantown, West Virginia.
All MLA students will be going outside at least once a week for hands-on, outdoor lessons that build on what they’re learning in the classroom, whether it be science, grammar/reading, the arts or social studies. These classes will meet state Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs). Afterschool programs are offered weekly -- Mountain Mallards for 2nd thru 4th graders and Mountain Jaguares (Mountain Lions) for 5th grade and up. Future programs also will offer high school students the opportunity to mentor younger students. Tuition for afterschool programs is on a sliding scale to make these classes as accessible as possible to all interested families.
Since 1998, Aurora Lights has been leading programs in a variety of environmental stewardship and outdoor leadership topics. Aurora Lights originally formed as a school in Ecuador, and since has led “International Perspectives on Environmental Issues” for WV college students, survival and stewardship classes for high school youth, basic survival skills for elementary and middle school students, and adult education classes in wild edibles and preserving food.
Mountain SOL is the brainchild of Aurora Lights co-founder Jen-Osha Buysse, who has over 15 years' experience of teaching, developing, and supporting outdoor and environmental education programs that strengthen the connections between human communities and their natural environment.
We believe the first step to stewardship is cultivating a connection with the earth, whether it be through finding a wild turkey feather, growing fresh vegetables, or restoring the natural qualities of a stream. To support that belief, we provide children as young as 3 years old with opportunities to experience, first hand, the wonders of nature. As our students mature, we teach the foundation of responsibility to self, to other students, and then to their community. In every class, walk, and conversation we share the importance of the equality and rights of all peoples to health and happiness. High school and college students are mentored in community organizing, provided internships with local non profits, or given increasing leadership and responsibility within the school.