Through community-based teaching, LB Free School trying to fill gaps resulting from educational budget cuts

Neighbors teaching neighbors. That is the driving vision for the new Long Beach Free School, which officially launched for the public this week. Prospective students can go to lbfreeschool.com to become members and enroll in any of over a dozen classes being taught by “resident professors.”
The first six-week term of classes is scheduled to run from July 7 through Aug. 17. Some of the classes include photography, public speaking, permaculture, gardening, marine science, upcycling and a mini-science camp. In addition, a youth-empowerment workshop focusing on getting kids involved in their communities is being offered by 10-year-old Jonas Corona, founder of local nonprofit Love in the Mirror.
The Free School is hosting an open-house event on Saturday, June 15 from 1pm to 3pm at LBCAP’s Spring Street Farm, 3012 Long Beach Blvd. to give people a taste of the courses being offered.
“We’re excited to have classes starting soon,” said Rachael Rifkin, co-coordinator for the Long Beach Free School. “I think we have a really nice variety of courses and teachers for our first session. We’re very happy with the numbers of people who have stepped up to teach a class.”
Classes will be held at partner locations throughout the city. Some of the classes will be held at the Long Beach Free Store, the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse, LBCAP Spring Street Farm, CALB, Foodscape Long Beach’s Chestnut Lot, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Love in the Mirror, Long Beach School of Yoga, and coffee shops and churches that have made their spaces available.
Students will receive a certificate at an end-of-term reception on Saturday, August 17. Students and resident professors will also have an opportunity to share their learning experiences with each other and discuss the next Free School term.
The Long Beach Free School is a new project of the Catalyst Network of Communities, a 501c3 nonprofit social-impact organization helping people and groups to connect, collaborate, and share resources. With rising public concerns about the lack of education funding and the lack of availability for important arts, music and sports programs, one goal of the program is to provide an alternative and supplemental form of education for members of the community.
For more information about the Long Beach Free School, go to lbfreeschool.com . Those who would like to enroll by phone may call (562) 287-4661.

Source: LB Free School

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