First thru Fifth Grades

We provide a warm, welcoming, and joyous environment for your child’s first through fifth grade experience. We are sensitive to the needs of each child in the classroom and often tailor stories, art experiences, and class work to the unique developmental place of an individual child. Our school days include many exceptional activities that you can read about below.

Our school offers a first grade class, a second grade class, third grade and a combined fourth and fifth grade class.  We also offer a middle school enrichment program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. Our school day runs from 8:20am to 2:20pm and we have an enriching after school program that is available through 5:30pm. 

Outdoor Days


Every Friday, we take our students outside for the day. We believe that free time to play and explore in nature reduces stress and anxiety, builds cognitive functioning, supports creative learning, and connects children to their natural world. We
visit Rockbridge State Park, Three Creeks Conservation Area, Mark Twain National Park, local farms, and many other natural areas around Columbia. Due to COVID-19, and our partnership with Camp Takimina, every day is an outdoor day! On Fridays, we are staying at camp, engaging in service work. We look forward to when we are all able to safely travel and explore our beautiful spaces again. 


Student Work

A third grade main lesson book from a block on measurement. Third graders learn the history of measurement in addition to their basic knowledge and practical application.

Each week our students have two handwork classes. Working with their hands helps students in coordination, reading, and left-right brain integration. When students work hard to complete a project, they exercise their will and ability to focus. When they hold their finished hat, flute case, or puppet in their hands, their faces beam with pride. Handwork projects such as these build confidence in our students and teach them that they have the ability to make everyday objects with their hands. Many of our students then feel they have the ability to make anything! Students learn new skills in each grade level. First graders learn to knit. Second graders learn to crochet. Third graders learn to hand sew and embroider. Fourth graders learn to knit a hat and needle felt various projects. Fifth graders learn to knit a pair of socks. The skills get more complex as the children get older. Our middle schoolers learn woodworking and carving. 

Language Classes

Students at our school take Spanish with our wonderful native Spanish-speaking teacher, Roxana Gomero. The class is full of songs, verse, stories, conversation, and games and the older children take this work deeper. Our goals for our students are to develop an ear and voice for another language, to experience new cultures, and to develop understanding and empathy for different ways of thinking and speaking.

Cooperative Games and Movement Class

Similar to a P.E. class, our students play games and exercise their bodies. We focus on social games that require cooperation and activities that enable students to know their bodies, feel their place in space, and improve coordination, balance, and rhythm.

Afterschool Program

City Garden offers a daily program for those that are interested. Our  extended hours are 2:15-5:30, with the option of daily drop-ins as needed. Our after school program enjoys art, music, crafts and hiking and exploring the beautiful woods of Camp Takimina.  


May Pole

We celebrate many seasonal festivals throughout the year. These festivals mark the cycles in our lives and connect us to the changing seasons and to our school community.

Our children look forward to each festival for special reasons. Our harvest festival, Michaelmas, celebrates the fruits from the summer. We build harvest structures and dye silks and yarn with native plants. Our Lantern Walk in late fall gives us
a chance to quietly walk through a chilly evening with nothing but our candle-lit lanterns to guide us. We are reminded of the lights we carry within even though our days grow darker. In the spring, our traditional May Day Festival celebrates the sunlight and warmth returning as we dance and sing around the May Pole together. Our festivals remind us to celebrate, reflect, and connect with our world and those around us.

Columbia Art League

Once a month, our students love their class at Columbia Art League. We walk the short block to their studio space for mediums such as clay, mosaics, and collage. Due to COVID-19, this part of our program is on hold. We look forward to being back at CAL in the future. 

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture


We are fortunate to visit an urban farm once each month and have adopted a small portion of their gardens for our pleasure, learning, and care. We’ve mixed soil, created beds,
planted, prepared beds for the winter, and picked produce. Due to COVID-19, this part of our program is on hold. We look forward to working alongside CCUA in the future. 

Homeschool Enrichment

City Garden School offers an option of two or three homeschool enrichment days per week! Children are integrated into our current first and second grade classroom or our third, fourth, and fifth grade classroom which will allow for plenty of social interaction and deep connection with peers. We provide art-infused lessons, ample outdoor time, and an intellectually rigorous curriculum. Homeschool students are encouraged to join the school for our various festivals throughout the year (see above) and other community building activities we offer for students and their families to enjoy together.

The program runs Monday through Friday. Families will be asked to pick the same days each week for the whole year for consistency for the children and teachers. 

If you are interested, contact us at 

Middle School Enrichment

City Garden School offers an in integrated outdoor learning opportunity for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Our outdoor middle schoolers learn about the forest and history of Camp Takimina, the communication methods of trees, and the fungi in the soil. Blending science, art, natural history and literature, our program offers a deep, engaging opportunity that compliments the social development of adolescence. We have ongoing enrollment. 

If you are interested, contact us at 

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

City Garden hosts three weeks of Summer Camp for 6 to 10 year-olds at Rockbridge State Park. In addition, we are holding spots for alumni of our camp who would like to come back as junior counselors. Children will be outside the entire morning exploring the woods and the creek. We love catching frogs and crayfish, hiking, observing the forest, singing songs, and playing games. We try to spend one morning, each week, exploring Connors Cave.

Summer Camp Dates

Session One: May 31- June 4 — Full

Session Two: June 7-11— Full

Session Three: June 14-18 — Full

Middle School Camp: June 14-June 18 — FULL


City Garden continues to grow! For the most current information, or a peek at what we are up to, keep up with us on Facebook.