At Paramount Brookside we accentuate alternate learning perspectives in how subject matter is presented to students. Learning through traditional “teach and preach” models is NOT within Paramount’s structure. Sensory integration and observation are two fundamental ways in which children learn from their environment. At Paramount Brookside, we believe in academic culminations involving integrated sensory learning whereby students may touch, see, taste, hear, and smell what they are learning. Students can understand life cycles and growth patterns in the EcoRoom as they monitor and groom greenhouse plants and practice in the growth and release of butterflies. The EcoRoom features a green landscape, grow wall, large floor planters, lizard terrarium, demonstrative beehive, and a butterfly hatchery.
The farm is in peak production during the summer and so are the STEAM participants. This is a summer mentoring program that allows chosen students to continue to connect to the natural world, even when school is not in session. Participants take on various tasks around the farm, with the majority of the focus on our food garden. The ability for students to sow seeds, nurture their plants to maturity, and harvest food for sale at our on-site market is an invaluable lesson in patience and cause and effect. This experience gives students a better understanding of where food comes from along with a respect for the hard work involved in sustainable food production. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for learning how pollination works and how ecosystems are dependent on one another.
Any student is welcome to join this after-school program that promotes healthy living and environmental stewardship. The environmental education team works to encourage students to take initiative and be actively involved in their community. Students learn how to care for our fruit tree orchard, berry patch, or work with other ongoing projects around the farm. Various activities and games are used to get students moving, and young people develop the know how to function as a member of a team.