Place-Based Education at Juniper Hill is learning that is rooted in what is local to the Juniper Hill property, to Alna and to Maine—the unique history, environment, economy, literature, and art of this particular place. Our community provides the context for learning and our student work focuses on community needs, interests and service. This local focus has the power to engage students academically and as they evolve and allows them to begin to pair their growing global awareness to the intellectual rigor they've developed here. We intend for this to promote genuine local and global citizenship and problem-solving, and to prepare our children to live well in any community they choose.
Children learn an increasingly greater awareness of their own personal boundaries as they grow--something we refer to as their developmental circles. We aim to create a school community that is not just aware of these boundaries but one that evolves with the children as their boundaries expand.
The families of the children who attend Juniper Hill School contribute to the mission of the school by sharing in and following guidelines that promote health, well-being, peace and ease for our children. Additionally, families cooperate together to support social gatherings that allow for bonding among school families and endeavor to support one another in times of both personal and community need.
Over the last few years that our child has attended Juniper Hill School his confidence and physical strength have greatly increased. He looks forward to going to school and is happy to linger at the end of the day to climb in the apples tree with his friends. It has been amazing to watch his connection to and knowledge about the natural world grow in parallel with his academic and social skill set. We feel grateful to the faculty at Juniper Hill for the wonderful opportunity that nature-based and Place-Based Education offers our child. As parents we have witnessed the benefits of an integrated curriculum based on the local environment and outdoor based experiences. --A.S., Rootlet Parent
Juniper Hill School allows kids to be kids in a learning environment that is natural and real to them. Every child is treated as an individual and made to feel welcome, respected, and loved. --K.P., Seed Parent
This is what I see when I pick up my son from school: a handful of sweet kids asking politely if they can please climb, then scrambling like wild monkeys all over hundred-year-old apple trees. When one gets stuck or scared the others help strategize a way down because the rule is if you got up you have to figure out how to get down. That might just be the best lesson my son has ever learned and I'm grateful to Juniper Hill for giving him the opportunity to get stuck and the confidence and encouragement to find his way down. --S.R., Rootlet Parent
My husband and I are both former outdoor educators, but we never expected to find a school that felt like such a perfect fit for our values and beliefs. Our daughter began here in the Nature Immersion program and continues to thrive into her kindergarten year. The fact is, Juniper Hill School hasn't just complemented our beliefs but has improved us as parents and as citizens, as well. We think harder and make more conscious choices about everything because we are part of this community. We believe that the more the general public sees the increasing value of this type of learning in an embattled natural world, Place-Based Education will become not just merely treasured or valued, but inevitable, and Juniper Hill School is leading that revolution. --A.G. & S.G. Rootlet Parents
What a gift Juniper Hill School is to the Earth. I breathe more easily each day knowing you are here doing this essential work with children. Juniper Hill School has so much to offer midcoast Maine and the broader community of education. --S.S., Maine Elementary Educator Observer
Thank you again for letting us visit Juniper Hill School. Simply put, your school is magic. I was very impressed with your teaching style, your students, and the impact you have on children. --T.R., Maine Elementary Educator Observer
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet me and show me around your beautiful school. It meant a lot to me. Your vision and experience is so powerful. You have much to share with the world and with children. If more schools could share this vision, then the world would be much better off. Maybe one day I will find myself there too. --J.S., School Visitor