Published on March 14th, 2012 | by admin0
Educating for the future: NatureKids sees record enrollment
NatureKids, a Costa Rican NGO dedicated to working and bettering the futures of low-income families, has reached a milestone this month with a record number of students now enrolled at the Drake Bay school in the Osa Peninsula.
This month more than 60 students registered for a new year of classes, ranging from kindergarten to adults with varying language abilities, each level meeting twice a week for 1.5-hour sessions. With learning focused on English skills, environmental issues, computing and community development, students graduate from the school with the tools needed to integrate into Drake Bay’s ecotourism-centric workforce.
“With more and more outsiders discovering Drake Bay’s beautiful beaches and prime Osa Peninsula location, the local industry has shifted from traditional fishing and agricultural production to ecotourism,” said Claire Saylor, director of marketing for Nature Air, the airline company that founded and administrates NatureKids. “The objective behind the school is to empower locals to benefit from the changing economy – with a focus on educating the younger generations.”
Just this year, Nature Air sponsored the purchase of new English textbooks with an environmental message for all of the students. Bought by Nature Air at $10 each, the Discover English and Save Our Planet books were then resold to students for $4 each in the form of a donation back to the school to cover classroom supplies.
The NatureKids School in Drake Bay is located on the town’s main (and only) road, about 200 meters before (north of) Cabinas Manolo, an 18-room accommodation and restaurant. To visit the school, drop by between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday when classes are in session.
“I’d like to extend a special invitation to tourists traveling in the Drake Bay area to pop by school – it’s a great incentive for our students to practice their speaking abilities,” said Pamela Nave, the school administrator and professor.
Pamela, a Texas native who has spent half her life in Drake Bay ever since she was stationed there with the Peace Corps, explains that many of her students aspire to be tour guides while others are currently employed in local hotels. “If there is anything I’d like to achieve, it is to open the students’ curiosity to the infinite possibilities that exist in Drake Bay and beyond.”
Visit the Nature Kids non-profit website.
Drake Bay hotel, diving center