DSM: Meeting in CT 2/11 to start an SVM school, please forward!

Holly L McHaelen (whoopskaboom@juno.com)
Wed, 24 Jan 2001 01:02:23 -0500

Hi Everyone,
        Here's an announcement for the first meeting (2/11/01) to create a SVM
school in central CT (for folks who live too far away to attend the
*fabulous* Greenwood School in Hampton!). I'm excited to finally get the
ball rolling (outside my own mind and circle of friends), but I'm nervous
about it, too-- nervous that nobody will come and nervous that they
        I'd like to ask your support in two ways: First, if you know of people
in CT who might be interested, would you please forward the notice below
to them? And second, I'd love to hear suggestions for the meeting. I'm
planning to show the SV intro tape and give folks the opportunity to talk
a little about why they came and what they're looking for. I was hoping
also to use the meeting to come up with some "next steps" so we can get
into action, but a friend who's interested in the school said people need
more time to learn about the model before they can commit to taking
action. I don't want to spend the whole time just talking about the
model, but I don't want people to feel pressure to commit, and then never
come back again. Now I'm thinking maybe it makes sense to limit the
"next steps" to strategies for reaching more prospective founders. Any
ideas? What worked and didn't work for other groups at this stage? (To
answer some likely questions: Yes, I do have the kit and have read
Starting a Sudbury School. Yes, I've submitted a request to be placed on
the "other list" for existing/in-progress schools, but haven't heard
anything yet, need to follow up on that. And, so far, I am the only
person who is absolutely, definitely committed to making this happen,
though a number of my friends are "interested" and plan to be at the
        Thanks for your support! I've been mostly a listener on this list, but
I enjoy the discussions, and am glad this forum and on-line community

Holly McHaelen


FOR STUDENTS RUNNING THEIR LIVES." --paraphrased from *Starting a
Sudbury School* by Dan Greenberg and Mimsy Sadofsky

All children are naturally curious and love to learn! But conventional
schools undermine children's self-knowledge, self-confidence and
self-expression. The mainstays of conventional schooling--
force/coersion, tests, grades, rewards/penalties and a
"one-size-fits-all" curriculum-- can virtually destroy the joy of
learning for a young person. *Real* education is about nurturing
children's passion for exploring and understanding themselves and their
world! When young people are afforded the freedom and responsibility to
create their own education in a democratic environment, when they and
their choices are respected and trusted, when their curiosity is
supported, and when their learning is 100% self-directed, then their
competence, confidence and independence develop naturally. It's time
such an educational environment existed in central CT, as it does in many
other areas!

If the idea of education that truly empowers young people resonates for
you, I invite you to join me in creating an extraordinary democratic
"unschool" in central CT (based on the highly successful Sudbury Valley
School model). The initial meeting, where we'll brainstorm necessary
steps and develop a preliminary "action plan", will be Sunday, February
11, 2001 (snow date is 2/18) from 2-5 PM in Manchester. Although the
meeting will include an overview, I encourage you to learn more about the
Sudbury Valley model and philosophy in the meantime: www.sudval.org
offers many excellent free texts online; and www.casval.org (click "Like
?") discusses fundamental and crucial differences between the SV model
and Montessori, Waldorf, etc.

For more information or directions, please contact me at (860) 649-7376
or or whoopskaboom@juno.com. Thanks!

Holly McHaelen

P.S. Even if you're not interested, please consider forwarding this
message to someone who might be. Thanks!
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