Tea For a Better Tomorrow
Grace Farms School Programs
Grace Farms School Programs for grades K-12 align with the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core, CT State Social Studies Frameworks, and Social and Emotional Learning practices. These innovative programs engage students with our award-winning building and nature preserve, inviting them to re-imagine the built environment and collaborate on new outcomes for a more ethical and sustainable world.School Program Request Form
Experiences take an inquiry-based approach to learning through collaborative problem solving and hands-on activities. These are led by a Grace Farms Foundation Educator and last about 90 minutes. Each experience includes two educational engagements, a specialized tour, and a hands-on maker moment. Experiences are available for all grades, and recommended for grades 2-7.
Our Nature Experience explores design solutions that put nature first.
Grace Farms Foundation’s mission, and the serpentine design of its LEED-certified, award-winning River building, was inspired by the 80-acre landscape on which it is situated. By examining the River building’s roof, visiting the organic Community Garden, and touring the restored meadows where native species thrive in adverse conditions, groups will learn about the power of trees, ways to reduce human impact on their local environments, and how the River building supports the natural water system.
$8 per student
NGSS K-ESS3-3, 5-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4, HS-ESS3-6, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS4-4, 5-LS2-1, MS-LS2-5, HS-LS2-7
Our Architecture Experience explores intentional design.
Groups will be introduced to architecture and design concepts during a guided walk through the River building that explores how decisions about building materials, made during the design process, can impact communities around the world. They’ll examine and investigate the materials used in the River building’s creation, and learn the importance of tracing materials as far as possible along the supply chain. This experience introduces students to Design for Freedom, a Grace Farms movement launched in 2020 that aims to end forced labor in the building materials supply chain.
$8 per student
NGSS K-2 ETS1-1,2&3, 3-5-ETS1-1,2&3, MS-ETS1-1,2,3&4, HS- ETS1-1,2 & 3 | HIST 8.3 | CIV 2.1-4, 8.4, 9-12.1 | ECO 2.2-3, 8.6, 9-12.5-6 | GEO 2.4-6, 8.4
School groups can enjoy space for self-reflection and contemplation.
The River building, with its winding silhouette and glass walls, was designed to help visitors slow down. Students will take a guided walk through the building to pause, observe the world through the glass walls, and reflect on what it means to flourish personally and as a community. This experience is inspired by our River Retreat programming.
$8 per student
Pre-School and Kindergarten Experience
This 60-minute program is designed for our younger visitors.
Groups will visit the organic Community Garden to learn about the plants we grow, meet the smallest Grace Farms Foundation team members—worms and bees—and enjoy an interactive story time that teaches the importance of pollinators. Groups can also visit the Imagination Playground, designed by Architect David Rockwell to encourage problem-solving, collaboration, and play.
$6 per student
K-ESS2-2, K-2-ETS1-2, K-ESS3
Led by a Grace Farms Educator, each tour runs about 90 minutes and is recommended for grades 8-12. Each tour provides students with a moment of inquiry, a Q&A session, and the chance to solve problems and reflect.
River Building Architecture Tour
The River building received its LEED certification for its sustainable construction and operations. Tour the SANAA-designed River building and explore several locations throughout that illustrate intentional design decisions made by its architects, engineers, and designers in order to create a public space that communicates with the nature around it.
$8 per student
NGSS MS-ETS1-1, HS- ETS1-1,2 & 3 | HIST 8.3 | CIV 8.4, 9-12.1 | ECO 8.6, 9-12.5-6 | GEO 8.4
Sustainable and Ethical Materials Tour
This guided tour of the River building focuses on ethical and sustainable materials sourcing, with several stops throughout to highlight decisions made during construction to address environmental and ethical challenges. Students are invited to take a closer look at timber, glass, brick, stone, and copper sources while discussing how to create a more peaceful and equitable world through creative design. This tour touches on the inspiration behind the Design for Freedom movement.
$8 per student
NGSS ETS 1.B, ETS 1.c , GEO 9-12.7,GEO 9-12.8, ECO 9-12.1, CIV 9-12.1
Inspired by a question that guides part of Grace Farms Foundation’s humanitarian work—what is the shape of flourishing life?—this tour invites students to pause and reflect on their own life. Walking through the River building, students will be prompted to pause at certain points, including near permanent artworks, to examine their priorities, relationships, and personal vision of a life worth living. Each student will receive a copy of the River Retreat booklet, created by Matthew Croasmun, our Faith Initiative Director, and Katie Grosh, Faith Initiative Coordinator, to take home.
$8 per student
CIV9-12.1School Program Request Form
How do I register for a school program?
Please fill out our application.
Where will we meet our educator?
Upon arrival, a Grace Farms Foundation Educator will meet your group at the West Barn welcome desk, provide an orientation to the site and Grace Farms Foundation, and answer any questions.
How long is each program?
Out standard program for 1st-12th grade programs is 90 minutes. The Pre-K and Kindergarten experience is 60 minutes.
Do you offer extra information to prepare me and my students prior to our visit?
We’re happy to provide more information prior to your visit! Please reach out to your tour coordinator at [email protected].
Is there a minimum or maximum number of students I can bring?
While there is no minimum amount, Grace Farms Foundation can accommodate groups of up to 100 students, depending on the program and staff availability.
What is Grace Farms’ weather policy?
There is no bad weather at Grace Farms! We only interrupt daily operations or events if the weather poses a safety concern. In this case, we’ll reach out to your contact person and confirm the cancelation. In the rare event where we cannot contact you, 0r if you are uncertain of status, please visit our homepage for the most up-to-date information about closures.
Are there restrooms?
Restrooms are located throughout Grace Farms’ River building and barns, and are open during operational hours.
Can we store our lunches and backpacks during our program?
Lunches can be stored in an air-conditioned room during the length of your program. However, personal items, such as backpacks, cannot be stored and should remain on the person, at school, or on the bus.
Do you have a gift shop?
A limited number of retail items are available at the West Barn Welcome Desk and the Library. Purchases are not allowed while a program is in session.
Can our busses park at Grace Farms?
Our safety team will provide instructions to the bus driver on where the group can be let off. The bus driver will then be directed to a parking space in our lower lot.
Can my group do more than our school experience or tour during our visit?
Yes. All groups must be pre-registered. During your registration, kindly let us know if there are other activities, including a self-guided Grace Farms tour, that might interest your group. We offer self-guided materials for certain activities. Please note that extra fees may apply.
FOOD AND DRINK
Can we bring our own lunches?
Yes, please indicate in your reservation that you would like to eat lunch here so that we can provide a designated lunch area for your group, depending on the weather.
Can my students purchase food or beverages?
Students may purchase food or beverages from the Commons during any potential free time before or after their program, and at the discretion of their chaperone. Food and drink purchase are not allowed while a program is in session, and we cannot reserve space for school groups in the Commons.
How much do visits cost?
The cost associated with your visit depends on the size of your group. Our experiences and tours are $8 per student, except the Pre-School and Kindergarten experience, which is $6 per student.
Our minimum administration and orientation fee is $75.
Do you offer financial assistance?
Financial assistance is available for Title 1 Schools. Please note this request when filling out the School Program Request form under Additional Information.
When do we pay for our visit?
An invoice will be sent to the group contact once all visit details are confirmed. Please provide payment two weeks prior to your visit. We accept credit card, check, or PO. We do not accept cash.