We have already raised over $186K from the start of our Building Campaign

A BIG heartfelt THANK YOU! To all of you who have made a donation.

However, we still need to reach our goal to meet necessary expenses for paying county permits,

class development costs, school scholarships and overall costs to enlarge our forest school. 

Tara Redwood needs everyone ‘s help in order to provide more classroom spaces for students in 2nd–6th grades.

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🌲 CHANGE   $10,000.00

🌲 KINDNESS   $5,000.00

🌲 COMPASSION   $3,000.00


🌲 GRATITUDE   $ 500

Donate what you can to support the growth of Tara Redwood School

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We are needing to raise $100,000 by December 2023. All gifts will be matched up to $10,000, so we hope you will help us reach 100% community participation by making a gift today!

All donations receive a tax deductible receipt.



"Some of my earliest and most cherished memories come from my years spent at Tara Redwood. The foundation that I received there was unlike any that I could possibly imagine. At Tara, I was able to flourish, and enhance my capacity and interest for knowledge,spiritual and mental well-being, and ambition. From the environment, to the teachers, to my fellow students I was able to find a home at Tara Redwood a place to grow and learn about life. Most importantly, Tara Redwood has taught me about compassion a characteristic that has been so important to me, and helped me with human connections throughout my life. "

Alex Ivany

Documentary Film Editor for 13th & Skin in the Game.

October 6, 2018

Heidi Winig, Professor alumni

"We are SO  appreciative of all that Tara Redwood School is doing and all that this school has done for all of these wonderful families and for our immediate family as well. We believe that Tara has the formula for how education for young children should be in so many ways, and we hope that we can keep these lessons in the forefront of our day to day life as we move forward with our children’s education.  We are eternally grateful for our experience at Tara."

Heidi Winig Health Educator and mom to two Tara alumni.

November 12, 2018

Heidi Otto, Parent Alumni.

"We are so incredibly grateful for our experience at Tara.  We truly can't imagine having the early years of growth for our sweet girls be anywhere else.  We see that so much of the foundation of the school is just a part of who they are as little people operating in this world.  Everything about the program has been the perfect fit for our family and provided an immense connection for us to the Santa Cruz community and built our experience for our first 5 years in here.  This is truly the best decision we made as we moved here.  Each year has brought new growth, learning, support and enrichment to all of us.  We are so proud to be part of the Tara community and so blessed in so many ways that we've been able to participate."

Heidi Otto Portfolio Director, North America at Distill Ventures.

November 12, 2018

Tom Killion testimonial "I am so grateful for what a wonderful early childhood experience you provided for Kai, his cousin and friends. — they are all such great young men". Tom Killion Santa Cruz Artist and father to alumni, Kai Killion.

November 20, 2018

Dylan Love, Tara Redwood School testimonial

"Tara Redwood certainly helped my life in a positive way. It's amazing how much elementary and pre-school have impacted my life! I stay close with my best friend from Tara Redwood even today at age 27, and have a huge amount of warm memories playing in the woods and hiking up at Land Of The Medicine Buddha as a young kid. Besides that, the loving individual teaching attention I was given helped foster a passion for math and spelling that made me well prepared for honors & AP classes in jr. high & high school. More than anything, I think the early lessons in empathy and kindness have helped me build great meaningful relationships throughout my life, and been instrumental to my career after college in high tech companies and venture capital. The values taught in Tara Redwood are truly needed in today's world and will be a huge benefit to the world to come! "

Dylan Love, Alumni

November 22, 2018

Sara Adams
"When reflecting on my time at Tara I look back with a happy heart and warm memories. Tara taught me so much about being in tune with my emotions and the world around me. Teaching me at a young age how to recenter myself with meditation and breath has been a huge benefit to my life as a teenager and adult. The community I build from my time at Tara is unlike any other community I have since connected to, and I hold a very special place in my heart for the members of my Tara community. I believe going to Tara from preschool through first grade made me a better human being, I came out more able to communicate my emotions, feelings, and needs. It also allowed me to look at challenges, both educationally and socially, as opportunities to learn. Teaching kids to grow into kind, emotionally intelligent  human beings is what the world needs more of, and Tara accomplishes that task."
Sara Adams, Alumni.

November 22, 2018

"This school has had a huge impact on me physically, mentally and emotionally that I will never forget about for as long as I live. It has made me proud to live somewhere with trees and greenery to enjoy and it provided a more in depth appreciation of nature. It has taught me to respect the value of life and taught me some life lessons. Tara Redwood School has helped shape the way I look at things. It’s weird the memories help me more now than they did when they were happening."
Kai Abrahms, Alumni
Excerpt from a Sociology college paper titled, “A Formative Experience”.

April 1, 2019

Forest school Santa Cruz
Our daughter has been attending the Tara Redwood Preschool and has truly blossomed during her time there. The teachers and staff have been so patient and kind with our little one for this big transition from being home full-time with Mom and Dad to part-time days at school with new friends. We've seen such an incredible leap in our child's language, social, and physical skills since starting at Tara Redwood. The school provides a great mix of indoor and outdoor time, reinforcing a deep connection to nature that's important to our family. We are looking forward to her transitioning to full-time and continuing to see how she flourishes emotionally and academically and are grateful for Tara for helping us provide her with a strong foundation for the future.
Jeanette Chavez,
Parent alumni

August 28, 2023

Best private schools in santa cruz and soquel

Our daughter attended this school for almost four years until the pandemic happened. She went in as a timid child with some social anxiety after attending kindergarten at a public school. It didn't take long for her to open up and feel comfortable with in class presentations, group hiking and to develop clear communication skills. She was also introduced to daily meditation and violin playing. During the remote learning, the teachers began to offer online yoga classes and meditation circles for the kids to have as a supportive outlet. We wish it could last until her middle school years! As parents, we have found a supportive community and a great outlet for outdoor hiking trails. We love Tara Redwood!

Dane Argentieri Video Producer at Universal Audio September 19, 2023

Tara Redwood best Santa Cruz private school

Thank you for another amazing year at Tara Redwood School. Our girls have grown so much since they first started at the school and we are so proud of who they are becoming thanks to the nurturing and wisdom they are receiving at Tara. What an amazing treasure you have created for families in this community! I appreciate every day knowing that they are thriving in an environment where respect and compassion are at the heart of the education. We have been incredibly fortunate to have had outstanding teachers over the years. What a fabulous group of guides not only for our children but also for us who are learning to be more connected and loving in our families and in the world. Thank you for keeping what is most important so central in our lives through this experience at Tara. ~Elisa and Isaac Orona, Tara Redwood Alumni

September 30, 2023

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In 2020 we closed the K- Elementary campus and we see this as the time to move fast forward to provide more children with the opportunity to learn in our pristine, peaceful and safe campus in the Redwoods, on the Land of Medicine Buddha property.

 We are ready to actualize our long-held vision and enlarge our school through the ‘Building from the Foundation Up’ Campaign. We will add a second floor to our Preschool Building that will accommodate our Elementary Classes enabling us to expand to 6th Grade.

 For more than 30 years, we have built a strong community of families, alumni and friends, who have enabled us to fulfill our mission. Please join with us to ‘Build from the Foundation Up!’

 A donation of any amount helps us move to the next level of our development, as well as provide funding for our scholarship program. 

top elementary school santa cruz donate button

 Here are ways you can donate to Tara Redwood School.

You can securely donate to: Tara Redwood School, 5810 Prescott Road, Soquel CA 95073*

A  501(C)3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Here are some programs and events through which you can donate to Tara Redwood School.

  • Annual Giving Fundraiser
  • Company Matching program
  • #Giving Tuesday
  • Annual Auction
  • Amazon Smile

A special note by the school director.

In Memory of Lucille Cayton
March 19th 1921 – January 18th 2021

I would like to acknowledge and honor my mother-in-law , Lucille Cayton, who passed away peacefully on January 18th. 

Lucille was a generous supporter of the school for many years and in essence we owe a great deal to her for her kindness.
She supported our scholarship program, the purchase of our bus, and provided a matching donation for our fundraising efforts throughout the years.
I am filled with gratitude in memory of her, and in reality,  
although Lucille has passed from this life,
her legacy lives on at Tara.