Exploring CWA’s Peach Creek

Our early learners in preschool and kindergarten returned to the magic of a favorite outdoor classroom

by Rixa Evershed, Early Childhood Education Director and Lower School Assistant Director
and Avery Wittstruck, Preschool Lead Teacher

Did you know there’s a seasonal creek that runs through the CWA campus?

Peach creek is a source for countless hours of wonder and learning. Students in Teacher Avery’s preschool class and Ms. Ebalo’s kindergarten class recently ventured out to experience the creek phenomenon.

Preschoolers had visited the creek before, but it was their first time experiencing water actually run through it. They squealed with excitement and began throwing rocks into the deep part of the creek to see and hear splashes of various-sized rocks. Later, preschoolers walked down to where the large drain runs under the road. The children insisted that a monster lived in the tunnel, and wondered whether it would come out and eat them. One child threw a rock into the tunnel, and we all were interested to hear the echo of the rock bouncing through the tunnel. They traversed through the slippery rocks and pokey sticks to explore new areas, an exciting challenge.

The children enjoy the creek because the difference in landscape invites a sense of magic, almost like there is a world of mythical creatures who live there while we are away.

Ms. Ebalo’s kindergarteners were much more specific about their reflections. Mila, Lynsey, Gumke, and Cara all commented about the water that got them wet. Gino and Lily both shared how they knew the water was deep based on whether it went over the top of their boots or they stayed dry. 

The creek is at the bottom of a ravine and even adults feel small when exploring the space. Cara stated, “I felt tiny. I did fall in the water and got wet. It was a little scary.”

The creek bed is layered with water-washed rocks of all shapes and colors. It is a rock hound’s dream as witnessed by Adira, Pasha, and Javier who all found rocks that led to deeper questions.

Bodhi spied a smooth grey brick and Cameron found a forest creature—a banana slug to be exact. Cyrus, who is always fascinated with our small forest friends, got more closely acquainted. Have you ever investigated banana slugs? Next time you see one, take a peek. Rayan was grateful that there were teachers who helped them get down to the creek bed and the class decided, unanimously, that they all wanted to go investigate further over the coming months.

Outdoor, natural experiences, where students are allowed the time and space for deep inquiry, are the ways we create collaborators, stewards, thinkers, and explorers at CWA.

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