Kids in the Little Traverse Bay area have an exciting opportunity to take their learning to the next level with Learn Local Academy. Families opting for full online or homeschooling this semester can experience mini-quests and learn more at “Get Oriented!” sessions on Thursday, September 10, and Monday, September 14.

Learn Local Academy is an innovative program designed for PreK-8 learners seeking to enhance their online schooling. Learn Local Academy offers real-world experiences that promote 3D Learning: Dynamic, Deeper and Different.

“It won’t feel like ‘too much school’ because our experiential approach brings back the wonder and ‘whoa’ so learning becomes an adventure,” says Molly Ames Baker, founder of TOPOnexus.

Learn Local Academy offers flexible scheduling with a three-level format that families can easily coordinate with the 4–5 hours per day required for online school. The three levels create a semester-long progression and are designed with care to be interdisciplinary (social studies, STEAM, English Language Arts), standards-aligned and scaled for PreK-2, 3-5 and 6-8 learners.

Level 1: Backyard Adventures is all about getting out to explore what makes the Little Traverse Bay region unique. Learners experience four interactive walking “quests” and use their Quest Map and field guide to navigate the real world. Level 2: Provides a Deep Dive where learners research what matters most to them as well as Local Labs, a unique opportunity to develop skills with a community expert in art, writing, engineering and public speaking.

Level 3 culminates with A2A: Awareness to Action© where learners design and implement their own project in the community.

A team of expert educators including Kate Cohen, Margie Marks, Patrick Kelly Wise and Jennifer Wixson will use the TOPOnexus Arc of Action© developed by Ames Baker to engage and empower kids to navigate their path and own their learning. When asked to describe the A2A way of learning, kids say “amazing,” “awesome,” “mysterious,” “cool,” “satisfying,” “empowering” and “sometimes frustrating,” which is a good thing since developing grit is needed now more than ever in our uncertain world. Kids are inspired to discover their interests, tap their talents and “Find their North.”

Learners can enroll in all three levels with reduced tuition or start with Level 1 only. Scholarships and payment plans are available. TOPOnexus is recognized as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Michigan.

Get Oriented! Sessions will be offered by appointment at Basecamp, located on 141 State Street in downtown Harbor Springs between 3–7 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, and Monday, September 14. Families can go on a complimentary mini-quest, return to Basecamp to share their discoveries and learn more about Learn Local Academy.

To schedule your time slot and attend, email For more information, call Basecamp at (213) 242-4600 or visit