A List of Other Free Skools in North America

Here is a scattering of Free Skooling efforts in the United States and Canada.

Here is a scattering of Free Skooling efforts in the United States. Did we forget one you know about? Send us a link or contact info to info@santacruz.freeskool.org

ARIZONA

Prescott Freeskool
The Prescott Freeskool Feburary calendar. All classes are totally free and open to all ages. Includes diverse schedule of classes such as knitting, capoeira, computer basics, hip hop as radical expression, Israeli-Palestinian history, biodiesel, Spanish, and yoga. More info from

BRITISH COLUMBIA

FreeSchool Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada
The FreeSchool, an alternative education project in Vancouver, Canada, is a collective-run project whose purpose is to provide the community with a space for dialogue and learning outside of the mainstream education and economic systems. Volunteers from the community have come together to organize and facilitate a small selection of learning groups at no charge to their fellow community members. We all have knowledge and skills to share with one another, the FreeSchool is an opportunity to do so in a non-hierarchical, anti-oppressive and holistic education environment where not only the academic is addressed, but also the social, political, creative and personal.

Victoria Free School, Victoria, Canada
The Victoria Free School is a volunteer-run, autonomous collective offering free courses, workshops, and lectures that cover a wide rage of topics. Education is a political act. The Victoria Free School is a community dedicated to breaking down barriers to knowledge. By deepening our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, sharing skills, and exchanging experiences in an egalitarian, non-hierarchical setting free of prejudice, we challenge disempowering habits and broaden our awareness of alternatives to the inequalities of capitalist society. Through the application of these anarchist principles, we provide a vehicle for people to develop their own sense of empowerment, autonomy, and self-determination in every sphere of life. (Unfortunately, it is also currently defunct)

CALIFORNIA

Free Skool Santa Cruz
Free Skool Santa Cruz is a decentralized network that shares skills, information, and knowledge without the limitations of hierarchy and the sterile institutional environment of formal schooling. Free Skool promotes self-reliance, critical consciousness, and personal development, helping us make living connections between ourselves, our community, and the earth. We aim to give people skills not just to survive within the institutional framework imposed but to thrive without and beyond it.

Mendocino Coast Free Skool
Mendocino Coast Free Skool, a nonprofit project which promote rural sustainable living, personal empowerment and intentional community for people of all ages through a volunteer network of agencies, individuals and local businesses offering free training and resources. Free Skool was launched on the Mendocino Coast in June 2003, and to date weve had over 60 local children, as well as a few children visiting the area with their parents, in attendance at successful FREE classes.

Isla Vista Community Free Skool, Santa Barbara
Isla Vista Community Free Skool, Santa Barbara provides a chance for people to teach and take workshops in areas ranging from car maintenance, to women's do-it-yourself erotica, to a discussion group for people going through divorce. The Free Skool promotes the idea that you don't have to be professional to teach; anybody can teach and anybody can learn.

Barrington Collective Freeskool, Berkeley
If you or anyone you know has any skills or knowledge that you'd like to share with others in a relaxed, non-structured environment. Why do you need the Barrington Collective to have a class? You don't really! But we do have some resources that might help facilitate your class. And you'll be linking in with a growing community of Free Skool students and teachers. (Unfortunately currently defunct.)
 
The East Bay Free Skool is an opportunity for people of ALL AGES to come together to share knowledge in a non-commercial setting to strengthen community. We believe education is a way to achieve equality and freedom. Everybody has something to teach and something to learn. By stepping out of our traditional teacher/pupil roles, we can strengthen self-reliance and the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethic. Only by sharing our skills and talents can we break away from the commodification and hierarchy of society.

Libertad Skool Collective, Santa Cruz
An autonomously run group of revolutionary dreamers refusing to sit through another day of oppressive, bureaucratic schooling. Through radical experimentation and intellectual exploration, we plan to ignite educational direct action: artistic projects, workshops, reading groups, discussions, film screenings, skill shares, zines, shows and wherever else the visionary muse takes us! Whether you're a frustrated teen looking for a sanctuary, a high school drop out trying to seize your life back, a college kid looking for an escape, or an adult ally wanting to help children learn again-together we will create the resources necessary, and support one another. Our liberation doesn't just happen on the streets, it must come from within. (Apparently defunct. Anyone have an update?)

COLORADO

Free Skool @ DU, Denver
Free Skool is a non conventional, alternative form of education in which students learn about various subjects outside of mainstream education and economic systems. These programs are open to anyone in the community.

MASSACHUSETTS

WoGAN FreeSkool, Worcester
A form of true education that provides a way for people to get together to share knowledge and skills! All FreeSkooling is done in a non-authoritarian, empowering way, not based on monetary or class position. FreeSkool is about encouraging positive social change by creating networks based on mutual aid and understanding. FreeSkool is open to everyone who wants to organize or attend a class in the FreeSkool way. Every teacher is a learner. Every learner is a teacher! Skill shares, discussions, and field trips that pull together themes of community autonomy, empowerment, and security.

MISSOURI

SouthSide University Free Skool
SouthSide University is a free school that is dedicated to self-education and collective knowledge. Some of the classes that CAMP has held in the past are yoga, pumpkin carving, art classes, homework club, bike workshop, welding, and more.

MINNESOTA

Bat Annex Free Skool, Minneapolis
The Belfry Center is a new collectively run community space in Minneapolis that is a collaboration between the Bat Annex Free Skool, Daybreak Anarchist Newspaper, and local radical artists. The Belfry's Bat Annex Free School is a unique endeavor, currently offering classes in quilting, French and Spanish to students of all ages. (Currently in search of a new space.)

WISCONSIN

Cream City Collectives Free School, Milwaukee
Many people in riverwest are currently organizing to open a combined Free School, Info-shop/Lending library, and Artspace for the community. We would like to open sometime this Spring, and intend to provide a wide range of resources for both creative endeavors and organizing.

MONTANA

Missoula Free School
We exist to create a dynamic space for the western Montana community to teach and learn from each other free of cost. The Missoula Free School began in November of 2004 as a project in free popular education. We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to teach and learn free of cost. We believe that standardized education in the United States tends to discourage creativity and critical thought, and often fails to provide important skills and information that can be easily applied to everyday life. It is the members of the community who should be able to decide what is important to teach and learn. This community resource for education will provide one piece of the foundation needed to create the world we wish to see.

NEW YORK

Brooklyn Free School
A grassroots movement formed in the summer and early fall of 2003 with the goal of offering a true educational alternative to the traditional orthodoxy of education now dominant in most public and private schools in this city, the Brooklyn Free School is composed entirely of parents, educators and others who believe that freedom and democracy are not just textbook concepts, but a way of living and learning - for our children as well as ourselves. The Brooklyn Free School is dedicated to the belief that all students must be free to develop naturally as human beings in a non-coercive educational environment and empowered to make decisions affecting their everyday lives and that of their community.

ONTARIO

Anarchist U, Toronto
The Anarchist U is a volunteer-run collective which organizes a variety of courses on arts and sciences. Most courses run for ten weeks, and meet once a week; there are no admission fees. The Anarchist U follows the tradition of free schools in that it is open, non-hierarchic and questions the roles of teachers and students.

OREGON

Portland Freeskool
We believe that everyone has the ability to teach, and that learning is a continuous process throughout one's life. The ever-evolving, all-volunteer Freeskool creates an avenue for true education by providing a way for people to get together to share knowledge and skills in a non-authoritarian, empowering way, not based on monetary or class position. Freeskool is about encouraging positive social change by creating networks based on mutual aid and understanding. Freeskool is open to everyone who wants to organize or attend a class in the freeskool way.

Ashland FreeSkool
Free Skool, or Freeschool, is the concept of community sharing skills and learning together - the belief that we all know something that others want to learn, and that together we can learn and develop skills outside of the mainstream educational institutions.

WASHINGTON


Olympia Community Free School
The Free School works to facilitate this learning exchange as an instrument for individuals who want to learn in an open environment. We are a resource that provides free alternative educational opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds. The FreeSchool also works for profound social change by serving as a model for education in the future.


Looking over my research, I am surprised that there are not more Free Skools in every nook and cranny of the country. No doubt I've missed tons of very worthy efforts. Drop me a line, or add a comment to this article if you know of a Free Skool or regular non-authoritarian educational project I've overlooked.