I was 22 years old when I started a landscape design business.
A buddy of mine, Jay, was a custom home builder. At the time, I knew nothing about custom home building. What I did know was I was hungry and more than eager to get started in any way I could.
So, one morning we went out to a job site together. There was nothing around us but dirt. And I wondered, where is the house?
Then, Jay handed me a shovel.
In his straightforward manner, Jay said, “If we put in the foundation correctly, we can build a house.”
And then he started to dig.
But it wasn’t until I stumbled into working with SOLA that I discovered the true meaning of what he asked me to do – digging the foundation ourselves meant ensuring the structure rose up strong and solid. And his words have stuck with me ever since, especially in terms of creating a strong foundation for our children during the early years of school.
That’s what we believe at the School of Learning Arts (SOLA). Here, we maintain a focus on foundation, because we’re not just preparing our students for school; we’re literally laying the groundwork for a happy, creative, productive life.
What happens if a foundation is wrong? It’s simple – things don't fit. The doors, the windows, countertops, garage doors… nothing fits. If the foundation is done incorrectly, then everything has to be cut differently than the blueprint. That’s a lot like life, of course. But if it is done correctly, the house will take care of itself.
No matter where you are on our grounds, we are inspired and focused on doing things right, even if it takes a little more time to do so. That inspiration and focus abounds – from the sign on our playground that reminds us all to slow down to the world culture-inspired artwork in the hallways.
We are ever-present with our innovative curriculum and our classrooms are brimming, not with paperwork or tests but with stimulating discussions, inventive activities and impassioned art projects. These are the skillsets to begin that great foundation.
At SOLA, we teach our students that they are important. SOLA is not an end result. We are more worried about whether our students will be kind to a stranger. We’re more worried about whether they will be confident as adults.
Here’s what we’re not worried about – whether they got 90 out of 100 math problems right.
If we’re too worried about preparing them to pass a test, we’ve completely forgotten about putting in the foundation. Whether it’s music or painting, play-acting or sculpting, the arts are an essential building block for development, especially in early childhood. Through creative expression, children are able to tap into and unleash their imaginations and understand their emotions. And they’re able to think critically and develop socially.
Every child deserves a great education. Every child deserves a great foundation.
Let SOLA help lay the creative foundation for your child’s life this summer and beyond. SOLA is located at 216 Pine Grove Drive in Wilmington. Call us today at (910)798-1700 for more information or to schedule a visit. Check out SOLA’s Facebook page for updates and photos.
Steve Adams is the owner and director of SOLA. Although his journey to SOLA was unexpected, he has always had a talent for mentoring kids and creative design. Since graduating from UNCW in 1992, he has spent 20 years coaching baseball, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee locally. He left a 12-year career in the art of landscaping in 2004 before leaving the field to pursue a career for which he was passionate. He began working at SOLA that year and purchased the school in 2006. Originally from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Steve has a twin brother and a younger brother, and enjoys the outdoors, especially the mountains. Contact Steve at [email protected] or (910) 798-1700.
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