Over the past few months I have been working with the French Broad River Academy, an up and coming all boys private middle school located in Asheville, NC. What drew me to this school particularly is their approach to fulfilling the mission of creating lifelong learners and leaders from today's youth. The French Broad River Academy prepares students for success by combining a rigorous academic curriculum with purposeful learning experiences on the French Broad River, its surrounding watershed and international field experiences.
What this means is that while the school places a great importance on academic-based learning, it also recognizes the importance of learning outside of the classroom, as well as bringing the outside inside the classroom. And because of the emphasis on the French Broad River Basin, the river and its surrounding watershed become the basis for study and inquiry, the focus of conservation efforts, and a resource for recreation for the students. From whitewater canoeing to overnight backpacking trips to downhill skiing, these students are given the opportunity to learn outdoor skills that support their studies inside the classroom and help them gain a better understanding of the world around them.
They are even learning how to be rock stars as part of the school band, The Salamander Band. And just in case you weren't already jealous, next week they are leaving for a school trip to Costa Rica where they will spend time studying at a Costa Rican school, doing service projects and some surfing too of course.
Why should this matter to you? Because if we want to continue to preserve the natural resources we love, we need to start creating a new generation of leaders to advocate for them. By providing the students with meaningful and relevant experiences, the French Broad River Academy is creating informed citizens who will advocate for the protection and restoration of the French Broad and other precious natural resources worldwide. And oh yeah, they're probably also going to be the next generations of shredders on the rivers and the slopes, so watch out!