Academics & programs
2nd Grade Safari to Kenya
Safari to Kenya is an activity-based unit in which second grade students role-play as photographers invited to travel to Kenya’s Maasai Mara Wildlife Preserve. Throughout their safari, students participate in various activities tied to lessons about the physical environment of Kenya and the Maasai people and culture. For example, students are tasked with packing their suitcases with appropriate clothing and equipment, requiring them to research the climate in Kenya.
Their studies come to life when students receive a special visit by St. Bridget pastor and native Kenyan, Fr. Stephen Okumu. He brings many items to share with the kids including the Kenyan flag, the national team soccer jersey, and his own shuka, a distinctive Maasai garment. Fr. Okumu tells many personal stories about life in Kenya—a favorite of the kids being his encounter with a leopard!
In addition, the Safari unit includes a service element where the students raise money for Gede Angels Primary, a newer school on the east coast of Africa. Monies raised have built a classroom and lavatory, and have also provided for desks, chairs and other school supplies.
Empowered to take charge of their own learning, the Safari to Kenya unit is embraced by students and remains a hallmark of the second grade at Villa Academy.
“Parents are very engaged and supportive of all aspects of the school. They are people with whom you want to spend time. I think my wife and I have made almost as many life-long friends at Villa as our kids have.”