It is with a heart full of gratitude that I welcome you to The Wizard School! We are an immersion program that offers forest preschool for ages 3-6, forest school enrichment classes for ages 2-18, and a forest school summer camp.
At the Wizard School, we inspire children to discover the magic of nature and their unique gifts and genius that is reflected in it. We nurture them in finding purpose, passion and their voice, so they can share their gifts with the Earth and each other. While on our daily adventures, children craft creative expression, while nature ignites their curiosity and imagination. Wizards are the wise sages that can use their magic to create a better world.
In addition to child-led play and inquiry in nature, we practice and learn indigenous traditions, honoring the original custodians of our land, story-telling, myth, fort building, foraging, wild tea and "potion" making, and much more. Ou forest school curriculum is inspired by The Cedarsong Way "which increases awareness of and connection to the natural world in order to foster compassion and empathy for the earth and all its inhabitants."
In addition to our in-person classes, we offer workshops online in creative writing and myth.
Meet The Founder
With a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Masters in Adolescent Education, and Certifications in Nature Based Early Childhood Education and RTT Therapy, Caitlyn with over 10 years of experience working with students of all ages inspires and guides them in creative expression, self-confidence, and authentic learning. She has dedicated herself to supporting children through their academic journeys while studying educational programs, philosophies, environments and curriculums to create a more natural way.
While on her own journey through academia, Caitlyn discovered her gift as a poet and her passion for education that nurtured connection between the self and nature. On this quest, the vision for The Wizard School was born. Caitlyn designed this program after gaining experience in a variety of roles within the school system (teacher, mentor, department head, assistant principal, director of admissions, head of school) so she could better understand the experience and structure of education from every perspective, as well as study how children develop within the school environment. She has toured over 100 schools in both NYC and NJ studying a variety of programing. Caitlyn recognized a great need for bringing play, "magic," nature, story telling and empowerment into the experience for young children, and that the environment is crucial in fostering these conditions. She vowed to create a school that children were over the moon excited to engage and learn in everyday.
Caitlyn is experienced in working with students at all stages of their journey from struggling to thriving. She is an academic coach, consultant and advocate that has been working specifically with children diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and specific learning disabilities. She works alongside and collaborates with a top child psychiatrist to do this work. She has the ability to see the strengths and potential in every child meeting them where they are, and guiding them through their unique development using myth, poetry and the hero's journey as tools.
Caitlyn's poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Southeast Review, Able Muse, Espresso Ink and others, her reading has been featured on NPR. She is especially inspired by history, science and nature in her work and experiments with form.
Our Forest School Program
So, why are we called The Wizard School? The word wizard derives from the Middle English word, "wys," meaning "wise, to know, to be aware." Wizards, are highly skilled masters who understand magic. But, what do we really mean by magic? Magic in our world is that beautiful dance between wonder, imagination and creation from our authentic and empowered selves. At The Wizard School, we learn to know our power and how to use it to create more joy, love, harmony and creativity in the world. We understand that we have a connection to all things in the natural world, and we can influence the things around us in magnificent ways. Our children build confidence, self-awareness, collaboration, and creative problem-solving skills. We do this while fostering an intimate connection to the natural world and the wisdom of our ancestors.
In collaboration with The Sanctuary, home of the The New York Bee Sanctuary, our mission is to bring students on a learning adventure through a magical world that connects students to a deep inner passion for learning, nature, making new friends, and awakening their inner potential. We provide children with the resources to explore, play and learn on this sacred land where they can discover over 100 species of wild edible plants, fruit and vegetable gardens, and bee and pollinator friendly flowers.
What We Do:
Our classes take place in all types of weather through the surrounding forest over an extended period of time so that children can develop a close connection with nature. During a TWS class you will see children exploring the woods, running with butterfly nets, building forts, gardening, foraging and digging in the dirt. Our students invent new games together, pick wildflowers, climb on fallen trees and much more. We also include structured lessons in story-telling around the fire where students learn about the rich history and science of our land and ecosystem honoring the indigenous land keepers that came before us. This time in the forest sparks joy, curiosity, cooperation and wonder! We learn to make tools like cordage, play with lose parts, and use elements of nature to create new avenues for learning.
climbing and balancing on fallen trees
digging in the dirt and gardening
creating nature-based art projects
recognizing patterns in nature
telling and listening to stories
identifying animals and plants
observing changes in the natural world around us
singing songs and playing instruments
For More Information about The Cedarsong Way:
For More Information about The NY Bee Sanctuary:
Our Classes and Workshops
Forest Kindergarten (Preschool) for ages 3-6: This drop-off program serves children with all the benefits of traditional preschool plus the incredible benefits in social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and ecological learning that forest education has proven to provide. Children receive hands-on learning that develops their science, math and creative arts education.
Caregiver Forest School Classes for ages 2-5: These classes run once a week for 90 minutes to offer children and their caregivers a chance to explore nature together and learn different nature-based skills, sing and tell stories around the campfire together.
Homeschool Enrichment Classes for ages 6-18: This drop-off program offers children who are home-schooled an experience in learning rooted in nature. We run mixed age cohorts by age group and cover STEAM curriculum initiatives through nature-based exploration, play, fort building, art, creative writing, literature, indigenous education, gardening, fire building, mindfullness practices and more.
After School Forest-inspired Workshops for ages 5-9: These classes run once a week for 90 minutes teaching specific enrichment courses like creative writing, gardening, fort building, "potion" making and foraging, archery, bee-keeping and hand crafting.
The Summer Camp for all ages: Our summer program incorporates guest experts that teach different crafts and forest-based skills to our children, while they receive all the benefits of our regular programing.
Online Workshops in Creative Writing and Myth: We explore a variety of exciting and engaging ways to stimulate the imagination and awaken the story-teller within. Students will get familiar with the writing process, descriptive writing tools and organizational techniques while crafting an original work.
These workshops are designed to encourage self-expression and connection, and to make writing feel effortless and inspiring. Students will also learn a variety of mindfulness practices that will support them in areas of their lives beyond just creative expression. We use creative writing as a tool for processing, self-discovery, confidence, and authentic connection to nature, our communities and the current times we are living in.
(Coming Soon) Virtual Wizard School: We are currently developing an online platform that brings students through a magical adventure in an online educational gaming format that supports and supplements our in-person learning.
The Benefits of Forest Education:
Cultural knowledge about self, community, and land (place-based aspects of learning) Friendships
Teamwork and collaboration
Navigating conflict with others
Values of empathy, gratitude, kindness, and compassion
Reflection and appreciation
Emotional quotient (EQ)
High order thinking skills
Problem-solving and resourcefulness
STEM-based learning (science, engineering, technology, math)
Creative and expressive arts
Language and literacy development
Fresh air/impact on cognition
Naturally occurring bacteria in soil/impact on cognition
Vitamin D intake from sunshine
Vestibular, proprioception, spatial
Gross motor, locomotor
Decreased symptoms of ADD and ADHD
Stewardship and care-taking habits
Connection with indigenous heritage/origins of land
Personal connection with the natural world
Caring and concern for nature
Understanding and respect for diversity and interconnectedness of ecosystems
Learning to care for one’s basic needs (eating, toileting, dressing for weather, etc.)
Our son absolutely adores his time at The Wizard school for pre-k. On days that he does not have school, all he does is talk about how he can't wait to go to school, and how much he misses it. Ms. Caitlyn is awesome, btw, getting a hold of her is just so easy! It's reassuring to know that we can contact her at the drop of a hat if there's any changes to our schedule, or our son Dylan's attendance at school. This is our son's first encounter with other people watching him and we were a little apprehensive at first. One thing we love about the school is that it's outdoors and the children learn in nature. Ms. Caitlyn is so wonderful with the children, Dylan runs to her every time we get to school. He has made such great strides with communication and social skills with other children, and his vocabulary is expanding quite quickly. She's very flexible with her days! Currently, we send Dylan 2 days a week, but she has 3 days and even 5 days. My wife and I have been telling all of our friends about the Wizard School because we enjoy it so much and so does our son.
I'm not one to review, but this camp was truly exceptional. All the teachers were passionate and enthusiastic. Morning circle time included singing and stories that captured the children's attention. My 3 year old not only learned but, most importantly, had so much fun. She didn't want to leave and continues to ask about her friends in the forest. I look forward to future camps. We will not only return, but also recommend the camp to our friends, family, and anyone else looking to spend a fun weekend in the forest educating their children while bonding and creating lifelong memories! Thank you Caitlyn and crew for everything!"
Fantastic experience. My daughter absolutely thrived here with caring individuals and a wonderful outdoor experience. I highly recommend."
My daughter has always loved writing. I felt she was a fairly strong writer as of the end of last school year. I decided to sign her up for this workshop over the summer for a few reasons, mostly I know how talented Caitlyn is and I had a feeling my daughter would benefit by working with her. I cannot tell you all how much my daughter enjoyed the class. It was almost like a magical, fairytale world in her mind. In addition, on two occasions during the class and several times since the workshop concluded, she has read me some material she has written and the difference between her totally fine writing previously and her writing now is astronomical. I hope she'll be continuing with the workshop in the fall. I hope you all will trust me when I say that this class was so impactful and amazing. Thanks again, Caitlyn. xo
Ms. Pezza taught a few of my fourth grade students in her creative writing workshop during our after school program. I am always begging her for her lesson plans because I was blown away by how she got some of my most reluctant writers to love it and to improve their work with rich details and a sound flow of ideas. She even got them keep their notebooks on them, even taking them out on the the playground to record their observations!
Mrs. Melissa Lewis
Caitlyn Pezza’s poetry is marvelously smart, insightful, witty, and complex. Her feel for sound and meter is delightful, inventive, and sophisticated. Pezza is one of the finest poets I have worked with at the New School and I expect great things from her.
Jennifer Michael Hecht