Daily Rhythm


Summer Camp




Nature Lab Workshop


Why I started a school…

About our main guide

I’m April Maura, a St. Louis mom on a mission to nurture tomorrow’s leaders, those resilient, independent, and entrepreneurial-minded little leaders.

My education journey started in first grade when I discovered my gift for teaching, playing pretend teacher with a chalkboard and stuffed animals. Fast forward to my college days at ASU, where I graduated with a degree in elementary education, enriched by a unique ESL endorsement. My cohort experience, delving into non-traditional approaches like Montessori and project-based learning, left me yearning for a more unconventional educational environment.

Life took me on a diverse path—homeschooling six kids, teaching in China, and exploring my artistic side through wedding photography. But a new chapter began with the arrival of my firstborn, leading me to homeschool, Montessori, and the Acton Academy philosophy. Realizing the importance of holistic education, I delved into life coaching, recognizing the need for daily habits that extend beyond academics. This revelation fueled my passion to create something transformative, leading to the birth of Little Leaders Academy—a Nature-Based Microschool.

Navigating the frustrations of the traditional school system, I dreamed of a place that nurtured the whole child, encompassing their mind, body, emotions, and relationships. Little Leaders Academy embodied that dream—a place where children embrace growth, develop an entrepreneurial spirit, and explore diverse learning approaches. Though the journey wasn’t without challenges, it led to the fulfillment of working from home, rediscovering myself, and realizing my true purpose. Embracing a growth mindset, I continue to self-develop, exploring the wonders of nature-based and forest schools. Witnessing the positive impact on learners and myself, I firmly believe that nature is the optimal classroom without walls.

And now, right here in St. Louis, we’re gearing up for Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 enrollment. At Little Leaders Academy, we welcome applications for pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. Join us on this incredible journey where nature is not just a place to visit—it is home. Learn more and apply at

Learn more about the Little Leader Experience
As a mom with over 12 years of guiding children’s development and education, let me spill the beans on what makes our nature-based Microschool a true gem. We’re not just about nature; we’re rooted in it. Whether it’s winter chill or summer warmth, we’re outside, soaking up the world’s wonders. Our meals happen al fresco, story times unfold under the open sky, and we even turn academics into an outdoor sushi-making adventure. Because let’s be real, life is just better outdoors. But it’s not just about the great outdoors; it’s about nurturing habits that last a lifetime. Daily affirmations, mindful breathing, and a sprinkle of yoga—because a balanced mind complements a vibrant spirit. We’re all about blending the magic of Montessori and Reggio-Emilia, adding a touch of Waldorf storytelling with props. STEM and Spanish? Oh, yes, they’re on our regular menu. Culture and entrepreneurial skills take center stage here. We jet-set to a new country each month, transforming our backyard into a global lab. Our learners become financial wizards, running their shops from concept to customer service. It’s not just education; it’s a hands-on journey through the world. In our learning community, connection trumps performance. We believe magic happens when a child and a guide truly connect. Emotions? We welcome them, embrace them, and make space for them because learning is as much about the heart as it is about the mind. Now, here’s the cherry on top. With a background in owning a wedding photography company and a dash of entrepreneurial spirit, I weave my photography skills into being a content creator. Why? To bring the best Montessori and nature-based goodies to our little learners. And finally, a massive shoutout to our incredible learning community. Your trust, your smiles, and your support fuel our journey. I’m immensely grateful for this path, for finding my calling, and for parents who believe in a holistic learning experience for their precious little leaders.

As we continue to nurture and refine our educational offerings, I’m thrilled to share the exciting news about the next phase of our journey at Little Leaders Academy.


Our Nature Microschool Expansion for Summer 2024 and 2024-25 School Year! | Embracing Growth, Preserving Intimacy

Our brand-new location at the Episcopal Church of the Advent (9373 Garber Rd, Sappington, MO 63126), with its proximity to Whitecliff Park in Crestwood, is indeed a source of great excitement. Kindly note, while we are relocating and leasing their space, we remain independent and are not affiliated with the church. What captivates me most about this location is its proximity to Whitecliff Park in Crestwood (just 4 minutes from our current location). Imagine the enriching forest days and the plethora of opportunities it presents for our children to explore, discover, and learn!

Here’s a glimpse of what awaits:

Outdoor Oasis: Utilizing the expansive outdoor space at this location, we aim to immerse our learners in nature’s wonders, fostering a deep connection with the world around them.

Playground Paradise: A new, state-of-the-art nature playscape is in the works, designed to inspire imagination, exploration, and unbridled joy.

Garden Growth: Our budding garden will be a hands-on classroom, teaching our young leaders about sustainability, patience, and the miracles of nature.

Expanding Our Family: While our family grows, our commitment to maintaining a close-knit community remains steadfast. We are excited to welcome more families and learners into our fold, ensuring each child benefits from personalized attention, thanks to our continued emphasis on maintaining a favorable guide-to-learner ratio.

Team Expansion for Enhanced Guidance

To ensure every child receives the attention and mentorship they deserve, we’re excited to welcome a few more Guides to our passionate team. This addition will further personalize the learning journey, making the whole experience even more enriching and efficient.

Benefits of This Expansion:

  • Enhanced Outdoor Learning: A larger outdoor space means more hands-on nature experiences, encouraging curiosity and fostering a love for the environment.
  • Personalized Attention: With a few more Guides onboard, each child will benefit from tailored guidance fostered by my leadership, ensuring holistic development.

Our Vision & Growth Plan:

Our aspiration is clear: a nurturing environment where learners thrive under the guidance of dedicated guides

Looking ahead, our vision extends to gradually expanding our offerings. The roadmap includes introducing grades up to high school age, though this will be a thoughtfully paced journey to ensure quality and alignment with our core values.