IMAGINE ... a school where your child is happy and benefiting from:

A small school environment with a rich multi-cultural curriculum honoring the whole child
Academics taught in a meaningful, whole world and nature-based context
Intimate multi-age classes where the values of community-building and social responsibility are taught and practiced
A lively calendar of diverse cultural celebrations
A school program and community that thrive on parent participation and choice
Teachers who teach from the heart
A joyful, caring aftercare program

Bonnie Barnum

Drawn by the Village’s multicultural curriculum plans, Miss Barnum has been at VCS since its inception in 1999. Bonnie Barnum earned her BA and California Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles, and also has a Multiple Subject California Credential (BCLAD with Special Authorization in English and ESL). Prior to VCS, she spent fifteen years with the Los Angeles Unified School District where she taught for eight years in bilingual Spanish classes, and developed her own multicultural program for students. Miss Barnum leads the whole school in multicultural music and dance, many festivals and outreach performances. She is an accomplished musician, and plays guitar, accordion, harp, and saz with her class. She enjoys bringing the love of learning and the joy of music to her students.

 

A look into our classroom...

In Miss Barnum’s 2nd through 5th grade class, students explore world cultures of the past and present, including their religions, festivals, heroes, legends, literature, legends, heroes, food, music, dance, art, textiles and handwork, religions and festivals. Each day begins with music. While Miss Barnum plays one of her many instruments, children learn songs from and about the region of study, often in the native language. Over the course of the year they will learn by memory over one hundred songs and poems, the print versions of which are used on charts and in language arts lessons. Each month, the class learns about a new country or culture, which becomes the theme that is then woven throughout all class activities. The teacher reads aloud from books that relate to the theme and the free reading book collection changes each month to reflect the place, its people, wildlife and habitats, customs, arts and legends. For example, while studying America’s pioneer days, students practice a spinning wheel, write with quill and ink, learn square dancing, hear American tall tales, read stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and visit the Grist Mill in Napa where they grind wheat for baking. The study of Greece introduces ancient mythology, etymology, dance, plants and foods. India brings stories of the Hindu gods, celebration of Divali, lunch at an Indian restaurant, study of Mahatma Gandhi, letters to an Indian family in Bombay, and math with mandalas. The children experience the joy of giving and helping to improve another’s life while also learning to count money. Several times a year they raise money (first nickels, then dimes, then quarters, etc.) to send an animal or flock to a needy family in the country of study. By exposure to many cultures, the children gain flexibility and an appreciation for the diversity of humankind.

 

Hygge:

The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel openhearted and alive. To create well-being, connection, and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and each other. Celebrating the everyday.

"Hygge is such an important concept in Denmark and there is no English translation of the word! Most commonly, it involves good food, friends, drinks, conversations, and candles. It is the idea that most parties strive for. It is the feeling Miss Barnum has created in her classroom!"

- Amy McLaughlin, former Classroom Aide

 

 

Class Photo Gallery