How Geneva Day School Paves a Green Path of Many Returns
Innovative playground. Inspiring nearby creek. Butterfly Waystation. Geneva Day School, offering traditional early childhood education since 1965 and certified as a Maryland Green School as of 2010, proves itself irresistible to generations through uniquely green foundations.
“Our students planted milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies and provide the only food their caterpillars eat, “ said Director Suzanne Funk about the Monarch Butterfly Project in which all classes engage.
It takes four generations for Monarchs to migrate from their habitat in Canada to Mexico where they spend their winters. Instinctively, Monarchs know whether to reproduce or to migrate,” explained the Director. The Butterfly Waystation allows older “student scientists” to explore, seeking young caterpillars to study in class as they harvest the milkweed on which they thrive.
“Geneva is in between two zones, so we catch the second generation migrating South in the fall and the second generation migrating back North in early spring. These multi-generational visits are reflective of our own multigenerational families, “explained the Director. The school’s environmental stewardship fosters more than just care of the Earth, as school connections sometimes span multiple generations.
“Children have fond memories of attending Geneva. When they graduate and move to other schools, they maintain many of the friendships they first established here. Parents continue to have get-togethers, and many teens enjoy working in Geneva’s Summer Camp. Young adults sometimes attend the same colleges or become roommates when they begin working. As adults, graduates want to provide their own children with the same happy memories, and enroll them back at Geneva,” reported the Director.
Geneva’s Summer Camp, designed for youngsters 2 to 6 years of age, happily accommodates family calendar preferences for full or part-time day enrollment. Irresistible weekly themes address age-appropriate recreation, which includes arts and crafts, stories and songs, outdoor sports and water play, forest and creek walks, as well as the much-anticipated hunt for Monarch caterpillars by late summer.
Such themes as Transportation, which complement a growing understanding of the environment, truly touch the hearts of both boys and girls. A series of nearly a dozen specialized trucks visits Geneva to provide the “touch a truck” experience. Campers are invited to climb into the front seats so as to discover a new vantage point, manipulate steering wheels, and sound horns or sirens. The popsicle truck remains an all-time favorite, as children may select their favorite popsicle. “Campers are always asking their parents to come back for more camp time like this,” stated the Director.
Just as Monarch butterflies “wing their way back” to Geneva, so too do those who know and love its programs. “Time ultimately provides green paths, for both students and Monarchs. It is amazing to realize the draw of a preschool for its many graduates,” declared the Director about Geneva’s verdant place on the map.