By Samara Kinyanjui’27
Winterim is one part of the school year where The Frederick Gunn School gets together and experiences different types of memorable moments. It is a time for students and teachers to join together and to enjoy this opportunity to find and explore new passions. From November 28 to December 8, students have nine days to go through courses in experiential learning. This school year, there are more than twenty-five different experiences that Highlanders choose from. Whether these experiences are on campus or off, they will surely be a thrilling learning experience for all.
Winterim is an amazing opportunity to venture out and find the time to breathe. It provides students with time to relax while still getting to learn new things. There are many times when a student has to attend required classes. Winterim avoids this by encouraging students to stay eager and alert in their learning, particularly by giving them an opportunity to choose for themselves. It is a time when students can enjoy themselves and not stress about the tests and homework they may have.
Winterim is meant to give students a much-needed break from their regular classes, which is important. “Having the time to travel into a space where the environment is peaceful and enjoyable”(The Mental Health Benefits of Traveling, Lee Health). Winterim helps the community grow by allowing students and teachers to enjoy themselves and explore different things.
Traveling is one of the best ways to relieve stress. At The Frederick Gunn School, students can travel outside the US and explore different cultures and what other countries have to offer. In Winterim 2023, there are four travel opportunities, including trips to Spain, Florida, the Caribbean Leeward Islands, and Costa Rica. Integrating students with other cultures through a sense of adventure gives them the mindset that little adventures have a big impact.
The mastermind of Winterim, Sarah Hunt, Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, has been working tirelessly with her team to make these opportunities possible. When asked why she thinks Winterim is important, she responded, “Winterim is a program designed to provide students with hands-on experiential learning opportunities that align with the school’s core pillars: risk-taking and innovation, learning about oneself and how to learn, public character and active citizenship, and a sense of rootedness and place. This approach is rooted in Frederick Gunn’s educational philosophy, which emphasizes practical, real-world learning to prepare students for life outside the classroom. Experiential learning is based on evidence and allows students to engage with real-world challenges, develop practical skills, and choose experiences that match their interests and strengths. The program’s pillars guide students in developing character, self-awareness, community engagement, and an appreciation for the natural world, fostering a strong sense of unity and cooperation within the school community while preparing students to be responsible and impactful citizens in an interconnected world.”