Talk about a bright idea! Solar Youth reaches children as young as four and can engage them right through young adulthood. Programming progresses through learning (for younger children) through internships (for youth) and by focusing on shared experiences.
Sometimes it’s an outing close to home to learn about nature in a public park, and can be as much as a camping experience in New England. It introduces New Haven’s low-income children to the great outdoors to see, experience and do; and it gives older kids a chance to lead and mentor younger peers.
In fact, some younger Solar Youthers graduate to an intern role, having the full experience of learning and then bringing along the kids coming up behind them.
The focus may be on exploring the environment, but other important things happen (disguised as fun) that provide a powerful education, like nonviolent communication, problem solving, self control, and skills needed to succeed in school, at work, and in life. For instance, children are given a chance to practice their public-speaking skills a talent that can serve them well over a lifetime.
During a recent visit, older children were learning about sowing seeds and growing plants, while younger kids were working with the fruits of nature to create smoothies.