Acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples
We acknowledge that we inhabit colonized land now known as Delray Beach in Palm Beach County, the ancestral home of the Jeaga and Taquesta peoples, and that Cocoplum Nature School has been established in part through appropriated traditions and practices of indigenous peoples of North America. We stand in solidarity with historically minoritized groups of people to dismantle power imbalances and promote social justice in our local community and beyond. We acknowledge the privilege we have exercised to attain and use knowledge of ecological and environmental sciences, and we pledge to humbly continue our learning journeys.
Several years in the making, Cocoplum Nature School was Founded in 2020 by two Delray Beach mothers, educators, and environmental stewards, Fernanda and Melanie. The two coincidentally crossed paths many times at the library and local gardens when their first children were babies. They later learned that they were neighbors and shared much more in common than a love of nature. After much dreaming and talking, 2020 felt to be as good a time as any to make their vision a reality. In everything they do, Melanie and Fernanda's purpose is to provide for all Cocoplum students the education they have been dreaming about for their own children.
Who We Are
Cocoplum Nature School is an inclusive educational program built at the intersection of environmental responsibility, racial equity, and economic justice that incorporates the evidence-based practices of nature-based and place-based education in an outdoor school setting. Our highly skilled educators apply social and experiential learning theories to create conditions for children to discover their interests and hone their skills through student-led inquiry, field trips, teachable moments, research projects, and book clubs. At Cocoplum, we believe in the power of connecting with nature and the importance of environmental stewardship. We believe positive relationships with our families and friends in a diverse community are central to meaningful learning. And we believe education should be an exciting and inspiring quest for knowledge and connection. Cocoplum aims to be a carbon-neutral and zero-waste organization by using solar power, avoiding single-use plastics, and repurposing salvaged materials.
How It Works
The program offered in spring of 2021 is called Cocoplum Nature Play. We are now accepting applications for children ages 4 through 8. The Cocoplum Nature Play curriculum is designed for pre-school age children (4-5) as well as those who are registered with the School District of Palm Beach County as a home education program (Florida Statue 1002.41.) As a home education program, the parent/guardian is the educator of record and is empowered by the State of Florida to make all educational decisions. Cocoplum provides: help with home education registration with the school district; a program of integrated curriculum to supplement families' homeschooling programs; documentation and assessment of knowledge and skills for the state-required education portfolio; and portfolio evaluation by a certified teacher that will be provided to the caretaker/guardian to submit to the school district.
Cocoplum Nature School is proud to be an organizational member of the Eastern Regional Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS), the Natural Start Alliance (NSA), the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE), and the League of Environmental Educators in Florida. Through these networks, Cocoplum faculty and staff stay connected with latest research and methods in nature school methods and they have access to professional development and certification programs.
Cocoplum is a non-profit and we depend upon fees, grants, and the support of our generous donors and local partners. To make an investment for the education of our young leaders, activists, and environmental stewards, visit the Support Us page. For information about rates and financial assistance, please visit the Admissions page. To learn more about our grants and local partners, visit the Partners page.