The Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts is excited to announce our second annual summer enrichment program. This year we have expanded to include two age groups: Gems for ages 6-8 and Song Birds for ages 9-11. We will also be holding a leadership summit for ages 14-18Students are empowered to learn more about each other and learn how to build on each others’ strengths in a way that inspires creative innovation. Holistic and formative real-world applications are designed for our students to inspire a deep understanding of self and others through a learning culture that celebrates creative innovation, enriched collaborative experiences, and connection through core human values. Values are infused into students’ daily interactions and modeled by our educators. This serves to enrich students’ academic experiences with positive social interactions, empathy, and emotional intelligence.

Thank you to all the families and students who participated!
Summer Enrichment 2019 was amazing.
We hope to see you next year.

Our sessions have limited capacity, so please register now to secure your spot.

If you are 6 years old by September 1st, 2019, join the GEMS.
If you are 9 years old by September 1st, join the SONG BIRDS.
If you are 14 years old by September, click here for our Teen Human Rights Leadership Summit.

Our core human values of focus for the 2019 Summer Enrichment program:
Peace and Peacemaking, Humility, Compassion, Kindness,
Seeking Knowledge and Wisdom, Generosity, Gratitude, and Love.

The Peace Academy’s highly skilled team leverages children's curiosity about the world to create meaningful experiences and empower creative innovation while making lifelong friendships in the process. The program allows families to register for each session separately, for your planning purposes. We encourage students to stay with our program for the entire four weeks, as the impact of the culminating four-week experience is undoubtedly compelling.


Our program runs daily from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. You may drop your child off as early as 8:00 am. Late pick is from 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm for $10/hour (single child) or $15/hour (two or more children). Students will plan and create meals on occasion, however, please send a snack and lunch with your student on a regular basis. Our payment options are as follows:

Limited Space Available

$375 / Session


$395 / Session - includes $20 towards helping another student attend

Be sure to check out our "Refer a Friend" discount when you register!
Get $25 off for you and a friend when they sign up with your referral.
If they sign up for all four weeks, you both get $50 off!
(The referral discount applies for each person you refer! If you refer 4 people you get $100 off your tuition!)

Need to make a payment? Click here.

Your registration comes with a Peace Academy T-Shirt for each participating child.
Please fill out a separate form for each child you would like to register.

Limited Scholarships Available
Scholarship Application Deadline is April 15th

Week  1

(July 8-12)

Gems (Ages 6-8)
Rock Stories

How has plate tectonics shaped Earth’s surface? Students will make 3D models to learn about subduction, mountain building, and seafloor spreading. Students will learn how to read various types of maps in order to navigate places around the world using self made virtual reality apparatus. Through these journeys, students will learn about geography, cultures, ecosystems, fault lines that result in earthquakes and volcanoes, and natural disasters. Students will use rocks washed ashore during this year’s supermoon high tides to creatively write their own science fiction story.  (Academic Enrichment: earth science, geologic history, geography, social science, biology, creative writing, and artistic sculpting)

Song Birds (Ages 9-11)
Heroic Journeys

With a focus on the science of empathy and emotional intelligence, students will build community, learn how to maintain balance and live a healthy lifestyle. Students will learn the basics of brain science and the chemical neurotransmitters responsible for the various emotions and behaviors we exhibit. Students will also learn how integrating the three components of the brain is necessary for active learning. Students will examine speeches of leaders who transformed the world as case studies for navigating emotions and channeling energy for the good of humanity. (Academic Enrichment: neuroscience, social science, history, persuasive speech, and reflective writing)

Week 2

(July 15-19)

Gems (Ages 6-8)
Reflections: Rooted In, Rising Up

Using the natural phenomenon of prisms and plants, students will come to understand the value they each bring to the world. Students will learn the physics of reflection, plant anatomy, and botanical nomenclature, making parallels to their own growth and the beauty of their diversity. Through a lens of budding leadership, students will reflect on the lives of role models in their world and learn the stories of world leaders who shaped history. (Academic Enrichment: physics, botany, social science, and history)

Song Birds (Ages 9-11)
Cooking for the Climate

Discover how personal health and the health of our planet are inherently connected.  Students will learn about and preparing foods that are sustainably sourced and provide unique nutritional benefit. Students will explore microbiomes, inflammation, sugar, methane digesters, and more! By the end of the week, students will invite parents to visit their climate sustenance solutions. (Academic Enrichment: climate science, food science, culinary arts, nutrition, science of digestion, descriptive writing, public speaking)

Week 3

(July 22-26)

Gems (Ages 6-8)
Visual Math and Design

Integrating the brain involves linking the activity of the the brainstem, the limbic area, and the cortex. Students will come to understand how art can be used as a form of expression and explore the importance of logic through art and design. Students will learn to self-identify their state of being and will learn new ways of thinking. Students will approach new problems and develop their own artistic creations using code and technology. Students will build confidence by using math skills to create art and then develop code to display that same art product! Creativity comes in many forms and this week, we will explore the intersection between logic, art, and personal expression. (Academic Enrichment: math, art, critical thinking, coding)

Song Birds (Ages 9-11)
Love, Life, and Struggle

Experience the richness of Latin culture, history, and food. Learn the geography, topography, variations in languages across the region, and migrant life. What can we learn of grit, perseverance, and community? Students will relate to people through their written stories and weave connections to cultural traditions through music, movement and dance. Learn about the children at our borders, neighbors in our community, and celebrations we share through food, art and play.  Taught partly in Spanish, students will navigate the immigrant experience of a second language and learn some through the process. (Academic Enrichment: history, culinary arts, geography, earth science, world languages, culture, self-awareness, physiology of muscular movements, impact of lifestyle on health and culture)

Week 4

(July 29-August 2)

Gems (Ages 6-8)
¿Qué PASA?

What’s up? Students will indulge in a Spanish experience through total physical response. Designed for beginners, total physical response gives students a holistic experience to learning a new language. Students will learn how to be mindful of their sensory experience, particularly tastes and textures, by describing simple Latin-American dishes, in Spanish, while helping to cook and savor them. Students will also practice simple techniques for managing emotions and stress, in Spanish and English. By the end of the week, students will host a mini-Spanish experience for parents. (Academic Enrichment: Spanish vocabulary, conversational Spanish, Latin-American culture, social skills, culinary arts, nutrition)

Song Birds (Ages 9-11)
Movement in the Mud

This week’s focus is on the immigrant experience, with a look into the Middle East. Through geography, culture, food, language, and movement, students will connect to people from the Middle East, their immigration and refugee stories. Children will learn the traditional Dabke dance, how it tells a historical side of a people’s lifestyle, and how they built their homes with tree branches and mud, using song and dance to build community and stay warm. Students will be challenged to create artistic structures from limited resources and learn the science behind mud homes, weather, and erosion. (Academic Enrichment: geography, culture, geology, earth science, physics, and history)

Our Teachers

Dara Stepanek is an educator and community leader who graduated from Cal Poly with a Mathematics Major, Physics Minor, and Teaching Credential. She taught math at Central Coast New Tech High School for 6 years, where she served as the club advisor for the Social Justice League, a group of students who worked to educate, activate, and lead our communities into a world that is just for all. Dara enjoys time with her son and now manages operations for her family business, Bliss Cafe, to promote and serve locally grown vegan, organic cuisine. She recently became a Climate Reality Leader and is excited to graduate in March 2020 as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Her hope for this Enrichment Program is to reinvigorate our democracy by empowering students to be global citizens. Always looking for innovative ideas within the broad spectrum of educational possibilities, Dara is very excited to be a part of Peace Academy’s team and vision.

Dr. Lata Murti is Associate Professor of Sociology for the School of Arts and Sciences at Brandman University, where she was the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding University Faculty of the Year Award. Before studying and teaching sociology, Dr. Murti was a Spanish teacher for grades 2-8. She has BA degrees in Spanish and Humanities as well as MA and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies and Ethnicity, from the University of Southern California. For her BA degree in Spanish, Dr.Murti studied at the University of Costa Rica, in San Jose, Costa Rica, for one semester, which left her yearning for Latina culture and the Spanish language. Dr. Murti was excited to find out about PASA ‘s Summer Enrichment Program and help lead the ¿Qué PASA? Program this summer.

Ingrid Kovacs, an award winning credentialed music teacher. She has taught general music and orchestra in both the private and public school sector for over thirty years, for all grade levels. She is all level certified in both Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk methods and a certified Suzuki Violin teacher. Kovacs earned both a bachelor and master’s degree in Music (Music History) from the University of Southern California. In 2010 Kovacs completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at Boston University. Kovacs is active as a journal editor and presenter at state and national conventions. Her research interests included string pedagogy, classroom management, and historical studies, and her work is frequently published. As an orchestra director, Kovacs is well known for her innovation, pedagogical expertise and ability to engage students of all ages. Kovacs is excited to be working with the Peace Academy because she wants to help young people begin to develop a sense of belonging to a common humanity.

Adri Long was raised in Chico, California, and is obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth & Soil Sciences from Cal Poly State University with a focus on both Geography and Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources. For the last three years, Adri has been the manager of the Green Campus Team at Cal Poly, which connects students through summits and collaboration. She also educates elementary school students about sustainability initiatives, such as zero waste and energy and water conservation, through a Cal Poly volunteer program Cal Poly Eco Reps. Adri has worked as an organizer intern at The Alaska Center in Anchorage, and is a strong upholder of peace and justice in her community. Her personal journeys have led her to explore the relationship between community, mindfulness, and empowering good change. As a lifelong student, she hopes to empower all of those around her to experience the joy of learning.

Kaito Lopez is a Cal Poly student who came from the Los Angeles area. Kaito studies Environmental Management and Protection enjoys is a great role model for an eco-friendly lifestyle. This Spring, Kaito will be studying abroad in Cuzco, Peru, where he will learn the importance of preserving every cultural tradition and respecting cultural differences. Kaito is fluent in Japanese and English will be working on improving his Spanish during his time in Peru as well. He is excited to have the Peace Academy opportunity to share with young minds how to be environmentally conscious in their everyday lives. Kaito believes having exposure to different subjects through integration of hands-on activity and real-life applications will help shape young minds into self-aware, socially-aware, and environmentally-aware individuals. In his free time, Kaito likes to hike and play his guitar.

Sandra Sarrouf is a cultural worker, arts advocate, educator, and community organizer. She received her MA in Cultural Sustainability and BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science with a minor Global Peace and Security through UC Santa Barbara. As a professional dancer, she harnesses the power of creativity and movement as tools to embrace diversity, build just communities and learn about our multicultural world. Sandra is passionate about cultivating deeper understanding of the varied ways we participate in culture and brings a multi-layered perspective to the table. As a Middle Eastern woman who immigrated to the U.S. at a young age, she offers tools for those seeking to build inclusion and cultural equity into their organizational framework. Her radiant joy and deep cultural pride is most evident in the vibrancy she brings as an instructor and performer in dance.

Stephanie Krouse is a freelance artist and credentialed teacher. Raised in Los Osos, California, she attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received a BS degree in Ecology & Systematic Biology with a minor in Spanish. Doing art, caring about the natural environment, speaking in Spanish and serving her community have always been her passions. As an elementary school teacher she loves to help her students create art with positive messages that are inspiring and hopeful. She currently works in Santa Maria and prior to this position she was a dual immersion teacher in Lompoc. Krouse is fascinated by color and design principles. Her style combines pastel colors and realism. Her home studio, set as an island amidst row crops, in Guadalupe, is an ideal place for creating art. It is also in this location that she lives with her husband, two children and her two border collie puppies.

Greg Ellis is the Co-founder of One Cool Earth. He has been in the role of Executive Director for the past 6 years before stepping down in 2018 to serve as the nonprofit's Growth Officer. After completing a medical internship in an emergency room during the summer of his sophomore year of university, he became convinced of the need for more preventative health measures. With support from mentors and the community, he helped to develop our local school gardens as a much needed tool to advance personal health, environmental stewardship, and science education for youth. Greg currently enjoys playing piano, hiking, and contemplating the brilliant miracle of life.

Amanda Woodle is a graduate of the University of Redlands, with a bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders and plans on becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist. She grew up in Templeton and spent her summers becoming fluent in ASL and working at Camp. For the past three years, Amanda has been a student director of Big Buddies, a mentoring program in Redlands, has volunteered as a tutor in the San Bernardino Juvenile Hall, and has been a Trip Leader for the University of Redlands Outdoor Programs. She is passionate about working with children, environmental stewardship, and serving the community in which she lives. Amanda is excited to be a part of the Peace Academy team and take part in developing a well and comprehensively integrated outdoor enrichment program this summer!

Kai Sanson is a progressive educator with over seven years experience creating and teaching culturally relevant, project-based, interdisciplinary curriculum for middle and high school students. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Global Economics and a focus on Latin American Studies and Spanish language, he then earned an MA in Education at Loyola Marymount University. He began his teaching career on the water, teaching kids ocean and environmental awareness through surfing, snorkeling and ocean swimming. Taking his practice into the classroom, he worked at Environmental Charter Schools in South Los Angeles, a growing charter network with a project-based, environmental focus for underserved families in the area. He currently co-facilitates American Studies at Central Coast New Tech High School, along with Psychology and Sociology. As an educator, his focus has always been on promoting environmental stewardship, social justice and the discovery of each student’s sense-of-self as they navigate their place in our global community. Extensive work, living and travel abroad has helped him to see first-hand the common threads that unite us. He is excited to bring his experience and passion for education focused around global citizenship to PASA.

The Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts is pleased to partner with
One Cool Earth and the Cal Poly WISH club again for this year’s Summer Enrichment.

Peace Academy of the Sciences and Arts
Tax ID: 83-0651198
PO Box 13024
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

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