Freedom Adventures’ new program combines online learning with outdoor fun
By Caden Sullivan
While students are stuck at home in front of their computer screens, a local adventure school is offering a new form of escape. Culver City-based Freedom Adventures, which has been teaching outdoor sports to kids in Los Angeles for the past 15 years, has created Freedom EdZone, a cross between online learning and outdoor adventures. Combining Freedom’s classic excursions with students’ online learning, EdZone promises a balanced education with outdoor enrichment.
“We were starting to look for a solution to give the kids an alternative education and that’s how we envisioned EdZone,” says founder and mentor Gilad Lewandowski. “Growing up, I always looked for something like this. COVID-19 definitely gave this a boost. More kids are participating and having fun while at the same time staying safe due to our protocols that we are following. We have a big space, our groups are small, everyone wears masks and is sanitizing, and we enjoy the activities outside.”
EdZone is taking drop-in students in the 5th through 8th grade who come to Freedom EdZone’s spacious learning center to complete their individual coursework for school. After finishing their assignments, each student meets with an in-house teacher who tutors them, offers additional work to students that want it and helps them plan for online classes. After they’re done with classes and meetings, all of the students set out on an adventure. These adventures vary, from trips to the skate park to sailing on the ocean, but all of them combine schoolwork with positive personal experiences.
Whether they’re paddle-boating or fishing, the activities the students experience are far different from those in a traditional school setting. These immersive, hands-on adventures give students the chance to view school as a two-way relationship instead of a one-sided effort and the incentivized form of teaching makes school a more fun and engaging experience.
“We are here to be supporters and mentors for the kids,” Lewandowski says. “It’s great for the teachers because they know that the student has us on their team as well. They know he or she will do their homework and submit assignments on time. We’ve been getting emails from teachers who have been thanking us and saying how our program has made a big difference. It also gives parents peace of mind because their kids are doing their work and have a strong support system.”
By combining education with outdoor activities, EdZone is creating a well-rounded experience that few students have at home. Once EdZone has full enrollment, they plan to expand their horizons and offer fun travel experiences, such as a week on Bear Mountain or snorkeling at Catalina Island. Whether a student spends months or years with EdZone, their experience is guaranteed to have a long-lasting and positive impact on their education and personal development.
For more information, visit freedomedzone.com or call 310-770-4410.