Adventure learning

Who is Elliott? He's a horse of course!

Meeting 'Elliott the horse' was the centerpiece of Tuesday afternoon's visit to Darby Manor Farm. It's that handsome horse farm in Shepard Settlement; the one with the long brick wall on the northern side of stump road.

Grace, Lilly, Claire, Mark and Bode have been attending the first five-week-session of Afternoon Adventures "Fall into Nature," from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Several arrive directly from Kindergarten on the bus, others have already spent the morning attending Skaneateles Nursery School, which also meets in the basement of St. James Church, 98 East Genesee St. The kids gather for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and noon when the program begins. Adventures is a learning extension from Skaneateles Nursery School. The same folks who bring the experiential learning, Big Trucks, to Skaneateles each year.

Janet De Falco, a former Montessori teacher, operates this program with Joy LoPiccolo. The two teach mornings in the Nursery School, but this program allows them to be a little more creative and go more in-depth. The amazing part is that the cost breaks down to $5 an hour. That's equivalent or better than babysitting rates. The total cost for each adventure session is $150 or $15 for a 3-hour adventure.

"We're enjoying it as much as the kids," DeFalco said.

Field trips, too

In the third week of "Fall into Nature," the class visited Darby Manor Farm to meet Mrs. DeFalco's daughter Ella's horse, Elliott, who is a Dutch Warm Blood. He is a very handsome mix of his parents, one chestnut and the other white, making his coat a blend of the two colors. Elliott is one of the bigger horses on the farm, and one of the most well-mannered. The DeFalcos got him when he was three-years-old.

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