March Newsletter

Dear Families and Friends of the Columbus Learning Cooperative,

"If you wanted to change a culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children."
-Carol Black

When my kids were little I used to read them stories by Roald Dahl and I remember reading  "Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."  These words returned to me as I stepped into CLC for our second open house since opening our doors in September.

I was greeted joyfully by four members of the Columbus Learning Cooperative and introduced to someone's beautiful grandmother: a warm, strong and sparkling woman. People were milling about - parents, kids, CLC families, current faculty, new teachers, evening program leaders, neighbors, artists, professionals.

"(We know) It takes a village to raise a child and that's what we're doing at CLC. We're engaging the community to raise our citizens." -Tommy Jones

"(We know) It takes a village to raise a child and that's what we're doing at CLC. We're engaging the community to raise our citizens."
-Tommy Jones

As new kids arrived, the current students (our CLC family) enfolded them in warmth and delight and they began to move en masse through the space. While giving tours they all became absorbed in first one thing and then another; playing a game of go in one room, making flipperamas at the light box in the next, viewing animations the kids have made in another, then the lego room beyond.

"Since being at CLC [my son] has gone from being a kid who was miserable at school to one who cares deeply about his learning community. He is excited and happy to wake up and go to school in an environment where he feels welcomed and honored. Moreover his academic strengths have started to emerge in tangible ways that he is proud of. School has, in fact, become a “happy place,” and I credit the innovative, student-centered approach pioneered at CLC for giving him this space to become a self-motivated learner." -Jennifer Black, CLC member parent

"Since being at CLC [my son] has gone from being a kid who was miserable at school to one who cares deeply about his learning community. He is excited and happy to wake up and go to school in an environment where he feels welcomed and honored. Moreover his academic strengths have started to emerge in tangible ways that he is proud of. School has, in fact, become a “happy place,” and I credit the innovative, student-centered approach pioneered at CLC for giving him this space to become a self-motivated learner."

-Jennifer Black, CLC member parent

People I've known from many different communities - community leaders, artists, educators, providers of contemplative or healing services - all came together in one place and one seemingly continuous sparkling moment that I experienced inside my heart as magic. 

The families of our current members were present, their friends and their neighbors. The founders of the school, the teachers and their friends. 

Joy breathed into my heart like a bellows. Laughter, rapt interest, profound gratitude and budding friendship filled the air. This is exactly what we hope to create at the Columbus Learning Cooperative.

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"It doesn't really matter so much what subject or information you teach but that you're passionate about what you're teaching. When kids see that you are passionate about what you do, it inspires passion in them."
-Kate Weigel, Multimedia Director and CLC Artist-in-Residence

CLC would like to thank everyone who came to our open house. It was so much fun, we'd like to do one every night. But we'll definitely host at least one each quarter. So please come again! Our doors are always open. Tours are offered weekdays from 9am to 3pm to potential families and community members. 

Because the world is in such need for this kind of inspiration - for a dedication to creating environments which empower our children and allow good human society to develop and flourish- CLC is opening programs for adults to enjoy learning as much as our young members. Each night we'll offer an opportunity to engage in folk arts, contemplative practice, non-violence, playful connection, homeschool community or neighborhood front porch gatherings. We'll notify you when our website is upadated, please visit learning.coop to learn more about these offerings which will be launched in April.

"What makes me feel comfortable as a teacher is knowing that I have a different wisdom than others, and knowing what I can't offer can and will be offered by another faculty member. It puts me at ease and enables me to teach what I love; I don't have to hold the whole world on my shoulders." - Tommy Jones

"What makes me feel comfortable as a teacher is knowing that I have a different wisdom than others, and knowing what I can't offer can and will be offered by another faculty member. It puts me at ease and enables me to teach what I love; I don't have to hold the whole world on my shoulders."
Tommy Jones

We're also planning week long summer intensives in July and August for kids ages 10-18. Potential themes include:

  • social activism and the arts
  • math camp
  • urban gardening
  • animation
  • environmental ecology
  • conflict resolution
  • folk arts
  • outward bound

Let us know which themes most interest your 10-18 year-old! We are excited to cocreate the programs that matter to you most. Thank you for your continued support.

Enjoying sharing the journey,

Marcelle Gilkerson, Mentor
(on behalf of)
Devin Fraze, Director and Principal
Kate Weigel, Multimedia Director
Ulises Cruz, Teacher
Tommy Jones, Teacher
William Dunlap, Teacher

“Let the beauty we love be what we do." -Rumi