I am the proud and involved grandmother of a 4-year-old boy who lives in Asheville. I felt compelled to write about the wonderful education he is receiving, [which] is available to the Asheville community.
He has attended the preschool program at Odyssey Community School in Asheville for a year and a half, and I am grateful for the wise and world-conscious education that he is receiving. Through gentle, loving instruction and direction, he is learning to value and name his own feelings and those of others. He is exploring his own preferences and learning to value the preferences of his classmates — even when they differ from his own. Sharing and kindness are just what he does, not what he is told to do. Approval and support fill his days. He is happy to help the environment through careful recycling and displays a strong awareness of the destructiveness of littering. He refers to Mother Earth, understands about composting, and planting and harvesting some of what he eats.
Of course, his activities are similar to those at most preschools. He paints and sings and messes with clay. He loves the playground. But because while he is doing these things he is learning so much more than what is usually offered, I feel compelled to let the community know about this treasure in its midst.
I am a retired elementary school teacher, and I know how hard it can be to help young children to live with ease and security in a fast, confusing world. The Odyssey Community School, which runs all the way through high school, is enriching the lives of the students and families that it touches.
— Helen Eill