Dear Families and Friends of the Columbus Learning Cooperative,
You might not be surprised to hear that Devin Fraze, the director of the Columbus Learning Cooperative, has a practice of inviting wisdom into our school. But you might be surprised to learn that he does not only invite the wisdom of those aged 10-18, he also invites each adult to also step into their fullest potential here.
He does this by inviting those who visit 731 E. Broad St. to share their particular gifts with the everyone else at the Columbus Learning Cooperative. Everyone is engaged. Everyone's unique capacities are valued. Everyone is empowered to share what they love most. And in this way, everyone thrives.
I loved watching Devin ask a twenty-year-old who was being tutored by him in math if she would teach here, and if so, what she wanted to teach. I remember her posture when he asked this question. This subtle rounding of the shoulders. A slight slump. And she responded "Me?! What could I teach?" He looked at her brightly and named her greatest gift - an obvious extraordinary competence that he recognized in her that she had, in fact, been cultivating for many years. And I remember how her posture lifted as she, too, recognized her own competence in this. Her smile ignited a sparkle in her eyes.
It is beautiful to watch this over and over. The power of a young adult experiencing their gifts being recognized and celebrated. Maybe this is why the kids often don't want to go home at the end of the day.
It trains us to see, as a community and a microcosm of society, and it trains us to look for the gifts of everyone we meet. We don't just look for them, we expect them. We trust them. And we begin to recognize how beautifully the capacities that abundantly surround us dovetail with our own interests.
The CLC was formed as a "school" for middle and high-schoolers - kids aged 10-18. We have full and part-time students who are the richest resources of their own learning. And now CLC is hoping to expand to offer these principles to people of any and every age. We want to invite the richness of the arts, to host the wisdom of community, to engage and follow passions and to discover paths of engagement in the realm of what we yearn to make possible in the world.
The day and evening classes nourish and inspire one another. The principles of CLC can germinate during the day and come to fruition at night. And vice versa, the joyful work and practice in the evenings are reinvigorated by the play and passion and possibility of each day.
Here are some of the offerings we look forward to providing on a weekly and monthly basis:
Living Folk Arts - Monday nights
The Folk School will offer dance, knitting, food-making, soap-making, candle-making, green furniture-making, toy-making, needle and wet-felting, fabric dying, fermenting and more.
Collective Practice - Tuesday nights
On Tuesdays we welcome the Columbus Acro Play Community to our space! Please also consider us also if your group would like to offer meditation, conflict resolution, and any other class that will support and enrich our community.
Open Space - Thursday nights
Hosting open space for contemplation, healing and conversation.
Young Unprofessionals - Friday nights
Young adults coming together to try to create something for the world and each other. An open studio of sorts!
Columbus Homeschool Meetups - Saturday
Families who homeschool in the Columbus community getting to know each other and making friends.
Porch Gatherings - Sunday afternoons
Invite neighbors to gather and bring together families and friends, established residents and new arrivals. We can share food, stories, get to know each other and build relationships. We can share stories, recipes and expEach of us can model what it is like to be in community and enjoy getting to know our neighbors.
Please check out these offerings on our website by clicking here.
Excited by these possibilities? Come to our Open House on February 23rd and learn more or share your own ideas! Light refreshments will be served and you'll be able to see what our learners have been up to.
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
"When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ” – Audre Lorde