"Having recently moved to the US from Finland, we struggled to find a gifted educator who embodied the Finnish mindset, which values equity and responsibility over accountability and testing. Noah Apple Mayers has the experience and the talent. Most importantly, he puts these values to work every day at his Brooklyn Apple Academy."
"Within his first five minutes at the Brooklyn Apple Academy, our son had the chance to learn some tool safety and then use a handsaw to help construct a stomp rocket. In the months since then he has taken weekly Mandarin and Spanish classes, built a working catapult, constructed a child-sized cardboard city, learned chess, and run a stand at a local farmers' market. The school took the train to Cold Spring for a daylong nature hike. They visited a blacksmith and watched him practice his craft. They visited an interior architect and our son is still 1) talking about the cool materials library, and 2) saying "when I am an architect..." These are just a small sampling of the exciting ways in which learning has been integrated into opportunities to experience and explore the world.
The students start their day together at BAA by having tea and discussing the projects for the day. The student who is "apple of the day" has the responsibility to serve tea to everyone - a task the children love.
Having experienced the adult-led public school classroom environment in which there is so much content that must be covered in a prescribed way, BAA has brought joy back into our son's understanding of education. We are so grateful to Noah Apple Mayers for being a nurturing educator who is able to ensure that child-led learning is supported by adult knowledge and skills - both his own and those of parents (who are welcomed into the classroom at all times)."
"Noah Apple is the teacher of this charming, quirky one-room school house. He is an adventurous, sensitive, and attentive educator, who uses the whole city as his classroom, taking at least one or two field trips a week. And when not on a field trip, the students often spend hours out adventuring, exploring, and discovering in the wilds of beautiful Prospect Park, located right next to the school.
Noah is flexible in his planning, so as to be able to integrate his students interests into the curriculum. For example, my 6-year-old suddenly and unexpectedly expressed an interest in chess, told his teacher, and the next thing we knew, the students were constructing their own chess sets, learning to play, visiting chess clubs, and challenging the chess hustlers at Union Square. After just a few short weeks, the 6-year-old is consistently trouncing his teenage cousins at the game.
My boy never wanted to go to school. Noah Apple, in creating this fairly unstructured, but incredibly rich environment for the kids, has created a school which makes his young scholars feel excited about taking part in their own education, a place where education is not an onerous task foisted upon them, but an organic, living part of their lives, in which they have a real and honest investment.
Since starting at BAA, my boy consistently surprises me by spouting his new knowledge of history, for example, or science, which he has learned at school, and then continues to think about and bring up in conversation, Rather than having to push him to finish up a load of boring homework every day, I find him coming to me, excited to both show off and explore more about what he has learned. Now, when we pass by historic sites in Brooklyn, he will suddenly surprise me with information about the revolutionary war, and how it relates to his environment. Looking at the metal fixtures on the subway recently, he started up a conversation about the differences between iron and steel, which he had learned about on a visit to a local blacksmith.
What can I say? My wife, my son, and I are all crazy about this school.
Whatever choices I may make for my boy's education in the future, I can't imagine a better way to start a young, eager child off on a lifelong path of excitement, responsibility, and engagement about his own learning process."
"Brooklyn Apple Academy is a vision of joy and exploration in our daughter's heart and memory. While we mainstreamed her into public school for kindergarten after a magical pre-k year in Brooklyn Apple, we continually second-guess that decision. What reassures us is our knowledge that the year in BAA laid a solid foundation on which she can compare all schools to in her future. She often talks about the tangible things she learned at BAA like how to use a hot glue gun and to sew with a needle and thread. She also talks about the places she saw, like artwork made out of canned food, the planning, building, and yes, even the 'architecture' of the pieces. She talks a lot about the deep friendships she made and spends time drawing pictures and writing letters to the friends that she made in Brooklyn Apple Academy. If you choose this school for your child, you will not be disappointed. Noah Apple instills and encourages a love of discovery, creativity, and learning in any person."
"Brooklyn Apple Academy is awesome. Noah brings endless creativity in classroom activities and field trip adventures. Having sent my daughter to his program, I would highly recommend to any parent looking for an alternative option to the typical NYC early education experience. In addition to exciting exploration the children are also allowed to develop their personalities freely; with the small, tight-knit group, kids are encouraged to try new things and experiment.
The program isn't about rigorous drilling of information. It is about discovery. The class had at least one filed trip a week into the greatest classroom on the planet: NYC. Recess was typically a hiking excursion through Prospect Park. Noah's program went beyond hands on; it is full immersion into the world. The kids are exposed to so many amazing experiences the parents will be jealous. Science projects, artist studio visits, egg incubators, and imaginative play are typical daily experiences.
Most importantly? School is FUN. The kids love it and Noah instills a fondness for lifelong learning and confidence to ask questions and explore.
It was a fantastic program and we consider ourselves lucky to have participated, truly a great program for young children."
"Many schools teach kids facts and figures, but rare is the school that teaches kids to love learning. Brooklyn Apple Academy provides a progressive, alternative education with an amazing teacher-to-student ratio, creative projects, field trips and social activities for children 5-8 years old. We have been participating in Brooklyn Apple Academy as part time students, mostly for field trips. The kids have visited the art studios of practicing artists, learning directly from artists how they work, and learning their techniques; they have learned about robots and 3D printing, visiting the MakerBot store, and planning their own projects. Chess, street photography, and visits to an auction house to watch a $2 million dollar dinosaur be auctioned off are just some of the activities the children have participated in.
Noah Mayers is a creative and inventive leader on these excursions, taking the time to understand the interests of each of the students, and customizing their experience to pursue their own learning."