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Wise BPN parents, do any of you have experience with The Mosaic Project? I need some frank advice and opinions from anyone who has recently sent their 5th grader on this trip. I understand that many bay area schools pulled out of this program because their students had negative experiences -our school has stuck with it- so I'm curious to hear from those whose children attended in the last few years. Thank you. Concerned Berkeley Momma
Of the complaints I'd heard from other parents, I understood that some of the kids got cold at night (didn't bring warm enough clothes or bedding). Some parents were concerned that their kids were not required to take baths or showers during the week. (Hey, it's camp! I'm okay with dirt!) Some kids who have poor social skills will face the same challenges socializing at camp as they do in school (although I think they do a LOT to work on effective social skills). Other kids were frustrated with the way the school sorted which kids were going to attend during which weeks. Those were the extent of the complaints I heard about. Personally, I'm very glad we sent our child. Mosaic Fan
Wise BPN moms, Do any of you have experience with The Mosaic Project? I need some frank advice and opinions from anyone who has sent their 4th or 5th grader on this trip. Thank you.
I'm very interested in understanding from those who said it was a life-changing experience what was so special. Was it your child's first time at a sleep-away camp? First time with kids from different backgrounds? Something else? My child hasn't been to sleep away camp, although she's eager to go when the opportunity presents itself, but is pretty independent and likes to travel.
I think the goals of the Mosaic project are good, and was eager to have my child participate. I even worked to convice other skeptical parents that they should have their child attend. I just wasn't impressed with the result. Maybe the expectations are too high for what can be accomplished in just a few days. I do think, however, that if the whole grade is attending, those children who don't attend will be challenged to understand the class discussion after the fact. Unimpressed
I'm looking for any information or experiences with the Mosaic Project in Santa Rosa. This is being offered for the first time in my son's fifth grade class this year and we have not been able to find much about it. Thanks! Fred
The kids at our school had a great time. Even the kids who had not done sleep away camps or many sleep overs before. The staff, counselors and cabin leaders were professional and warm to all the children. They themselves were from diverse backgrounds. Some of them were student's in our own distric't public high school.
Parents are only allowed to drop off and pick up and are not allowed into the camp proper. This is fine with me. It is a space for the kids to learn a bit of navigation on their own, in a very safe and supportive environment. Their teachers were there with them.
One thing I would have liked to be done differently, is for our school to have incorporated more of the Mosaic stuff into the curriculum the rest of the year. They did some, perhaps more than I know, but it would have been good for the school to highlight it more so the parents could see even more worth in sending our kids.
Here is their web site http://www.mosaicproject.org/index2.htm Positive for Mosaic Parent
As to the
question of whether there are lasting effects to the kids' participation
in the Mosaic Project, I suppose there are (at least that's what his
teachers in school observe after having their students participate in the
camp for the past several years)--although I am somewhat amused that my
son and his friends have modified some of the lyrics to the Mosaic Songs
(''Let's break down the walls/So we can dance and be free/Let's start with
you and me--free!'') to suit their typical juvenile humor (Let's break
down the walls/So we can dance and go pee/Let's start with you and
Parent of Mosaic camper
I'm interested in hearing from parents whose children have participated in the MOSAIC Project's week-long camp for 4th and 5th graders at Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa. Did your child have fun? Was it effective in serving its purpose of promoting self-esteem and anti-bullying? I'd particularly like to hear from parents who opted for their child(ren) to not participate in the camp--what were your reasons, and did your child feel like he/she missed out socially or in any way for not being with his/her peers for a week?
The BUSD school where my child attends has had the 4th grade class participate in the MOSAIC camp for the past few years. We incoming 4th grade parents just attended an informational meeting about the camp. It sounds like a huge waste of time and money to me. If it were up to me, I'd prefer for my child to go to a week away-camp to learn outdoor skills, rather than spend a week learning how to use ''I'' statements and talking about themselves. It seems to me that if kids need to learn about community, respect for others, overcoming prejudice, and self-worth, the school should be engaging them in a week's worth of class-led community service activities for the less fortunate, not singing feel-good self-esteem songs around a campfire.
Of course, I've never experienced the camp myself, so my
perceptions could be wrong. I'm very interested in hearing what
other parents and former campers have to say about the MOSAIC
Mosaic gave them a common value set for the year. The kids all worked with the same ideas of respect for and understanding of differences. Now they might not all adhere to those behavior ideals, but they sure all know what the expectations are. I think mosaic gave the 4th graders a great anchor from which to start their 4th grade year. I did not think it was a waste of time at all. Also, it was a lot of fun for our maturing pre- teen kids to spend time away from their families and work on their budding independence. And don't underestimate the power of sing alongs around a fire. Many of us have good warm memories of such events in our own childhoods. It's great for our kids to have thsoe memories, too.
The school did refer back to the mosaic curriculum during the year. I think they could do a better job in letting the parents know that they did so, and telling us specifically how and when. Do you know of a better alternative? If you can find a better one-week or similar camp experience for the 4th graders, why not research and recommend it as a solid alternative now? Providing a specific and positive alternative, and brining it forward for an open discussion ASAP would be your best be if you don't think Mosaic is the best fit. Although, you may be raising this question a bit late for next year's calendar. If that is the case, then you may want to look ahead to activities your school does in older grades (5th and Middle School), and see if you agree with those choices or not. If not, can you provide positive alternatives early on?
I'd say, ''go for it''. Send your kid, and let them have fun and
learn about how to better get along with their peers (even if
they are great at it already). Maybe they have a lot to teach
the other kids, too.
Anonymous Mosaic fan
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