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Pono Travels to Costa Rica this Summer!

We are Pono — New York City's only independent, outdoor, democratic school.

At Pono, there are no grades, homework, or tests. Instead, we are all about creating a safe environment for authentic learning experiences that nurture curiosity, compassion, and community building.

We do this because we believe that children learn best when immersed in the world around them. From community gardens to costume workshops, Pono children go on hundreds of local excursions every year around New York City and State.

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This summer, we're taking our first international trip to Costa Rica!!!
Two educators and one local guide will lead a group of seven children, ages 9 to 12, on an immersive learning journey around the theme of urban and rural sustainability. To do this, we will partner with a local environmental institute and in this way, create an opportunity to build a deep, authentic connection with local students and educators.

As is the Pono, democratic way, the kids found Costa Rica
as their destination of choice because of the stunning biodiversity of the rainforest, the rich history and culture in the capital city of San José, and their desire to understand rural development and ecological sustainability first-hand. We will also practice speaking Spanish and enjoy local cuisine! These formative learning experiences will not only foster independence and confidence in the children, but will also strengthen their compassion for others and give them new perspectives.

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We believe in making all our programs accessible and inclusive. Every dollar we raise will go towards funding airfare and in-country program expenses. If we meet our goal, we can ensure 100% participation for all the children in our Costa Rica journey. If we exceed our goal, then the extra funds will go towards a new Pono International Travel Fund to support trips for children, ages 7 and up. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Donation Rewards:

$20 — A digital postcard from Costa Rica with a photo and drawing from the Pono children

$50 — A unique snail mail postcard from Costa Rica with notes and drawings from the Pono children

$150 — A unique postcard from Costa Rica and a shout-out on Pono’s Instagram

$500 — All of the above, and a piece of original artwork by the Pono children, inspired by their journey

$1,000+ — All of the above and a book of photos, drawings and creative writing from the trip

Thank you for supporting and sharing our campaign. To learn more about our school, our approach to learning, and to see our daily creative learning experiences, visit the Pono website or follow us on Instagram.