.flux wrote:Looks like a really exciting venture, best of luck with it. My only negative comment, and this applies to all non-state funded schools, is how much private education costs! I don't have kids and went to an almost free (as in low school fees) state school myself so I had no idea!
JP wrote:that is a challenge and a half!
A while back i listened to a radio programme about free schools in Israel, how they took the democracy and empowerment of the children to a pretty radical level, as in the children were designing their own curriculum and so on. But they are doing well and similar schools have been set up elsewhere in the country.
xJimx wrote:Hey Rodolfo this looks excellent, good luck; if my family ever relocates to Michigan then I'll get in touch
I can definitely see the appeal of such schools. My eldest daughter is at a mainstream state school now & although overall it's a great place there are already some aspects of her education that bother me slightly (although I used to be a teacher so it shouldn't surprise me) in terms of things she's been told & repeated at home - mainly stuff about religion.
Unlike many state schools in the UK my daughter's school is not a 'church school' (state funded but formally linked to a local church parish, vicar/priest on the board of governors etc), however there is a definite Christian undertone that I don't much like.
SpugFab wrote:Man I bet a bully at this school could totally clean up
We want to start a school! Yep, that's right, we said it...start a school! We are a group of educators, parents, activists, labor organizers, librarians, environmentalists and we are working to start the Little Lake Free School, a democratic free school, by this Fall. Free schools have a long tradition (Leo Tolstoy, Emma Goldman and Bill Ayers started their own after all) but we feel there needs to be more empowering opportunities for youth, especially as youth are increasingly marginalized and criminalized in society.
There are many provocative aspects that make free schools unique:
-student-directed, non-coercive learning where trust is key
-adults act as mentors and support children in their learning goals
-a strong emphasis on democracy, where students, staff and parents get to make decisions during weekly all school meetings
-students are taught conflict resolution though non-violent communication and mediation
-because of their non-coercive role, adults can pay attention to the whole child (emotional, social, cognitive, physical, artistic)
-schedule of optional classes is created equally by students and staff and can include anything from gardening to theater, science to community projects, legos to all day field trips, sitting and thinking to afternoon hikes
-happy children and happy adults!
This is where YOU come in!
There are 6 core members of our group and while we have unlimited energy and enthusiasm for this school, we have no space, no materials, no financial resources. We need money for supplying the school with stuff but really really cool stuff, like 1) radical, feminist, empowering books, 2) art supplies for lino-cuts, ceramics, zines, silkscreening, origami, and photography so kids can tell their own stories through pictures, 3) gardening tools so we can grow veggies to cook and eat for a snack and maybe even sell at our local farmers' market, 4) musical instruments (making our own out of everyday stuff but also making nice high quality drums, for example), 5) woodworking tools so kids can not just make a cute bird house but maybe tables, chairs, frames, and so on, and then the boring but necessary stuff like paper, pens, sofas, staplers.
We don't need money for salary or space rental because despite the name, we are not completely free (a free school refers to the philosophy of the school). Our full tuition is $6,600 (very affordable for this area) so we need to raise money specifically for full and partial scholarships. We highly value diversity and do not want to turn away any family that wants to join us.
By giving money to our school, you not only help us start this school, but you will assert your voice by saying that you believe in children and you will be an integral part in helping to create our community.
Please visit http://www.littlelakefreeschool.org to learn more.
Project location: Ann Arbor, MI
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