Experiential Education

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William A. Ward

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Experiential learning creates opportunities to have students actively involved in their learning process.  Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School aims to provide opportunities for experiences which are not only complementary to lessons taught in the classroom, but conducive towards achieving particular educational goals.

At Pilibos, K-12th grade students take part in field trips, in-school demonstrations, workshops, assemblies, service learning, internships, group-based learning projects, and more to consistently supplement the learning in the classroom.    

Furthermore, our 6th – 12th grade students participate in trips and retreats as a class to further their learning, strengthen their bonds with their classmates, and provide opportunities otherwise not available in a classroom environment.

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Sixth Grade:  6th grade students embark on a three day excursion to Fresno and our State's Capital, Sacramento.  Students learn about the early Armenian settlers in Fresno and the rich Armenian community, visit landmarks, and learn about the heritage of California's earliest inhabitants during the Gold Rush and beyond.  Students visit such places as:

  • an Armenian Church in Fresno
  • the William Saroyan Museum
  • the Underground Gardens
  • the State Capital building
  • the railroad museum
  • and more.

IMG_0800.JPGSeventh Grade:  7th grade students participate in a truly unique three-day hands on experience in Catalina Island’s Kelp Camp.  Kelp Camp offers our students many activities that and opportunities to grow and learn new skills as they participate in group and collaborative activities.  Some of these activities include:

  • Skin Diving
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Power Boat Activities
  • Stand Up Paddle Boards
  • Target Sports
  • Climbing
  • Ropes Course Challenge
  • Gardening & Composting
  • Nature Exploration
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Photography and GoPro Videos
  • Arts & Crafts

FullSizeRender9.jpgEighth Grade:  8th grade students embark on a 10-day educational trip to Washington D.C. and New York.  Students are exposed to celebrated symbols of patriotism, American culture and heritage, and a first-hand look at our national government and its workings.  The itinerary for the trip includes some of these highlights:

  • The Capital Building (Congress)
  • The Smithsonian Institution of American History
  • The Smithsonian Institution of Space Exploration
  • The Presidential Monuments of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • The World War II,  Korean and Vietnam War Memorials
  • The National Archives
  • The National Cemetery at Arlington
  • The White House
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Newseum
  • The Armenian Embassy
  • The ANCA Headquarters
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Ellis Island
  • Ground Zero 9/11 Museum and Monument
  • Times Square
  • United Nations
  • The Liberty Bell
  • Independence Hall

_MG_9197.JPGFreshmen:  9th grade students take part in a Leadership Retreat organized and conducted by Pilibos administration and select Pilibos seniors, know as Leadership Ambassadors.  Located at AYF Camp in Valyermo, CA, the trip provides opportunities for students to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a leader, collaborate with their peers, and bond in a unique manner that heightens their understanding and their emotional intelligence.



20151107_134942.jpgSophomores: 
10th grade students join in a retreat that concentrates on team-building and collaborative work.  Sophomores attend Pali Institute located in Running Springs, CA, where they are exposed to various team-building activities and challenges.  Students better understand their comfort zone, how to step outside of it, and how to trust and work with their peers in trying to overcome challenges.  Some of the activities that students take part in are:

  • Team Building
  • Advanced Team Building
  • High Ropes Course
  • Low Ropes Course
  • Building Support
  • Community Puzzle
  • Quad Zip Lines


IMG_1937.JPGJuniors: 
11th grade students take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit their Motherland, Armenia, as a class. From Yerevan to Lori to Artsakh, students are immersed into their culture, heritage, and history.  Students experience first-hand the essence of the places and history they studied all their lives at Pilibos.  This trip is a culmination of their Armenian education.  Students have the privilege to visit such places as:

  • Yerevan city sites:  Mayr Hayastan, Tsitsernakaberd, Memorial Monument, Yeraplour, Cascade, Museums of Glass and Khanjian Hall, Saryan Statue and “The men” complex in Saryan Square, David of Sassoun
  • Khor Virap Monastery
  • Barouyr Sevag Museum
  • Noravank
  • Tatev Monastery
  • Shushi
  • IMG_5312.JPGSoorp Ghazantchetoch Church
  • Stepanakert
  • Gandzasar Monastery
  • Tigranakert
  • Karahounj
  • Ashtarak
  • Oshagan
  • Mesrob Mashtots burial site
  • Echmiadzin Monastery
  • St. Hripsime & St Gayane
  • Sardarabad Monument & Museum
  • ruins of Zvartnotz
  • Garni & Geghart
  • St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
  • Dzoraget
  • Amberd Fortress
  • Lori Region
  • Haghbad and Sanahin
  • Museum of  Hovannes Toumanian
  • Dilijan
  • Haghartsin Monastery
  • Lake Sevan
  • Tsaghkadzor


Seniors: 
Throughout the year, the ideas of leadership and self-awareness are impressed upon 12th grade students (time and time again).  Through the various experiential educational trips throughout the years, project-based learning opportunities, their senior leadership class, working on their year-long senior project, and more, their retreat at AYF Camp in Valyermo, CA concentrates on the theme of “Reflect on the Past; Enjoy the Present; Envision the Future.”  Students are given the opportunity to examine past choices, evaluate their goals and expectations, and assess some of the choices for their future.  In short, their emotional intelligence is strengthened and their perspective enhanced.