The mission of All Friends Nature School is to foster the development of the whole child – physical, cognitive, emotional and social – through use of a play, place, experiential and emergent curriculum. A natural environment offers the ideal setting wherein a child may grow and develop freely, with enthusiasm, confidence and excitement.
By fostering the development of self-regulation, self-direction, and self-reflection, we provide children with the educational foundation that will support them for the rest of their lives. We value the relationship between parents, teachers and our community and work to build these relationships so we can nurture the growth of children during this important developmental time.
About Our Teachers
Susan, founder and lead teacher, grew up in a rural town in Virginia. From a young age she was grateful to have space to roam and explore. Some of her fondest memories were playing hide and seek in the forest, catching tadpoles and playing outside all day. Attending college in a mountain town led her to an even deeper appreciation of nature. This love of nature continued on into her adult life taking her on many traveling adventures and bringing her to California. The biggest adventure was becoming a parent to two amazing boys. Susan has been working with children and families for the last 13 years. Susan has a genuine appreciation for the outdoors and is passionate about teaching young people to have a meaningful connection to nature and the world around them. Susan is trained in “Growing Up Wild” an early childhood education program that builds on the children’s sense of wonder about the world around them. Susan also continued her education in Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training at the The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers.
Susan is an active board member of the California Association of Forest Schools (CAFS).
Aixa Correa has a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Leadership, where she learned outdoor survival skills as well as the vital role of building a strong community, and the importance of outdoor free-play in our daily lives as healthy humans. Previous to Nature School, she co-led high school and college students on backpacking trips through beautiful Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. Although she’s always been more drawn to the “little ones”, she knows that these previous experiences were part of her path in building her skill set to work in such a setting. Aixa is currently in a Waldorf teacher training program, gaining more knowledge and experience so that she may learn to serve her students as best she can. In her free time, Aixa likes to hike, visit her family in Corona, read books, and connect with other human souls.
Within the last decade Alex has devoted her life to nurturing young minds through creative play, arts & crafts, and nature exploration. It all started with the entrustment of her younger cousins that which blossomed into a career as a reputable nanny.
In spring 2019, Alex passionately acquired a degree in psychology at California State University, Monterey Bay. She left a piece of her heart in Monterey. Alex had fallen in love with the lush landscapes, tranquility, sustainable community and Big Sur’s mystical forests; meeting the ocean right up to the cliff’s edge. There after graduation, Alex was called back to Orange County.
At the center for comprehensive education Alex shined her light and love of creative play in her role as a lead preschool teacher. Along this path, Alex grew a deeper understanding for those thriving with autism.
In addition to education Alex keeps her passion alive through ecstatic dance, face painting, arts & crafts, alpine hiking, community building, and nurturing her permaculture farm in Lemon Grove. She and her partner, Nathaniel, are expecting their first baby in July of 2020.
This wonderful opportunity to serve with All Friends Nature School has provided a great sense of fulfillment. There is nothing she would rather do than to stoke imagination and frolic between the trees. She is truly living the life of her dreams.