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.

We have a combined First and Second Grade class and a combined Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade class. Our school day will run from 8:20am to 2:20pm M, T, W, F with an early dismissal time of 1:20pm on Thursdays to allow for a teacher meeting.

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.


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.


Together with Garden Gate Preschool, 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.

Language Classes

Students at our school take Spanish language classes with our wonderful teacher, Senora Ginna Salamán. Students have two 45 minute classes each week. The class is full of songs, verse, stories, conversation, and games and the older children take this work deeper into the beginnings of writing. Our goal is to develop an ear for another language, which opens new pathways in a child’s brain that allows for future connections and innovation.

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.

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.

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

City Garden will host two weeks of Summer Camp in 2017 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 as well as the creek. We will be catching frogs and crayfish, hiking, observing the forest, singing songs, and playing games. We hope to spend one morning each week to explore Connors Cave. Camp enrollment is open. Download our Registration Form and send it in to ensure your child gets a spot!

Dates: June 5th – 9th

            June 12th – 16th

Times: 9:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Rockbridge State Park

Cost: $135 per child per week

          $115 for siblings

Summer Camp 2017 IS FULL!
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