I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.
Barb Canin, mother of Taproot Students Ayla (8) and Amiela (11)
“In addition to all his considerable talents as a role model and educator, Zac's love for and knowledge of the natural world make Taproot a delightful way for kids to spend their afternoons – exploring, playing, learning, and coming to more deeply appreciate the beautiful planet we live on.”
Claudia Corwin, mother of Taproot Students Ava (7) and Max (11)
"Zac's approach to outdoor education is holistic. He manages to teach important basic life lessons and skills, while at the same time helping the kids experience the very basic pleasures of being outside...Respect is a constant underlying thread, for both nature and people...Taproot is pure nourishment, an incredible way for the kids to unwind after the rigors and expectations of the school day. It is their time to soak it all in, all the while laughing and running. Rain, shine, snow, or sleet, nothing really stops them! Zac also does a great job bringing the outdoors to families. The Taproot plans for family education are especially exciting."
Jennifer New, mother of Taproot Students Bella (8) and Tobey (6)
"One day I was walking in town with my six-year old son and out of the blue he pointed to a tree and said, "That's a hickory." I looked it up and down and decided he was probably right. "How did you know that?" I asked, ever amazed by what he's managed to figure out thus far in life. "Zac Wedemeyer," he said. And that was all. Because those two words pretty much mean the gospel when it comes to nature and adventure for my kids. They've been "Taproot Kids" for two years, and I am so thankful and relieved. As someone who was able to ramble for hours in the woods behind her house when I was their age, I've worried about their lack of time in nature - so Taproot is a wonderful antidote!"
Dawn Barker Anderson, mother of Taproot Student Kelby (7)
"We have felt so fortunate that Taproot is a big part of our son's life. We don't need after school care, but have quickly realized that Taproot provides such a great enrichment experience that the need for care is not the driving factor. Taproot gives our son a unique opportunity to explore the hidden (or at least less-explored) treasurers of the Iowa City/Coralville area in a fun and educational way. He always has a fantastic time, learns important life skills, and gets to know kids at other schools. We look forward to getting our daughter involved."
Rya Dunnington, mother of Taproot Students Aubryn (8) and McCall (5)
"We have been fortunate in our 8 year stint as parents to find amazing teachers for our children; people who are able to offer our children skills, awareness, and understanding about the world and themselves that not only harmonizes with our personal viewpoints but goes way beyond what my partner and I are able to accomplish on our own. Zac, Elesa, and the entire Taproot staff are such teachers, and, as a family, we are in their debt. They have given our children much, much more than the monetary value of the tuition we pay."
"There are so many times when I stop and think, 'Thank you Taproot!' When I'm at work on an achingly gorgeous day; when my daughter unflinchingly picks up a snake, spider or fish; when my son presents a carefully selected bouquet, stone, or other jewel from nature; when a walk around the block takes 40 minutes; when my children ask perceptive and thoughtful questions about life choices and the relationships between us and nature.
"So thank you Taproot -- thank you for being a crucial part of the village that is raising our children."