Living in God's Environment

Oct 16, 2023 8:30:00 AM | Living in God's Environment

From our Village's beginnings, we have worked to bring a garden to life and the richness of God's creation to our school to form a natural connection

Dear Village Family,

In the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood, the learning environment is referred to as the third teacher, a setting designed to be not only functional but also beautiful and reflective of the child's learning.

The E in CREATION Life stands for our Environment that which lies outside of our body and affects what takes place inside our body.

When God formed us, He made us for a life complete in His natural world, and then, He placed us in a garden. From our Village's beginnings, we have worked to bring a garden to life and the richness of God's creation to our school to form a natural connection between the outdoors and indoors allowing our students to inquire and learn in multiple environments rich with God's love.

“When people are exposed to nature, it changes their attitudes. We’ve known for a while that nature has an impact on people in helping them heal faster and reducing their stress, but what our findings show is it also makes people more pro-social...they’re more likely to have better feelings toward their community, want to give more to other people, and be more concerned with social outcomes.” - Interview with Dr. Richard M. Ryan, co-founder of Self-Determination Theory and Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at Australian Catholic University

We believe learning how to care for God’s created world through stewardship of our school environment leads to connection with our global community enabling us to work together to find sustainable solutions for our world.

We are called to be stewards of God’s creation:

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” God set them in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. -Genesis 1,26-28 and 2:8,15

We are part of the IB global community:

We advocate for a sustainable planet and ask students to consider how the relationship between people, planet, and growth is central to this…curricula must foster an organic link between in-classroom learning and sustainable action in the community, so that students support sustainability in practical ways, understand[ing] how their learning can manifest itself in the real world. -Developing the climate citizens of tomorrow, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the IB

We work to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. -THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development (

Respect for our environment is the beginning of creating life-long love for God’s earth and learners who understand how to create a better world based on their local and global decisions. To further our school mission and theme for the year, we set three goals we are focused on developing:

  • Our School Prayer
    • Memorizing the School Prayer and reciting together as a school at our next schoolwide chapel on November 3rd, enabling us to understand who we are in God’s world
  • Our Outdoors
    • Living stewardship through Respect, Responsibility, and Safety as we engage in our outdoor spaces, enabling us to live our principles
  • Our Sustainability
    • Reducing our paper consumption by 50% will have long-term impacts on the environment as well as improving upon ways to imbed our learning while respecting the forest
Together we build these skills as a learning community. So, ask your child how are they engaging with their learning environment? What skills are they working on developing this year? How are they exploring God’s great world?

We also invite you to learn more about our projects to grow our learning environment as part of Our Next 10 Years.

Thank you for learning and growing together as we find Unity in God’s Community.

In His Grace,

Nalani and Derek Cummings

Head of Mission and Head of School

Derek Cummings

Written By: Derek Cummings

Derek is passionate about providing the highest levels of education to our Village enabling our students to do good in God's great world.