What we're about

We're starting up a Sudbury School in the north suburbs of Chicago. Come to our meetings to learn more. You can learn more about Sudbury at our website: riverwindsudbury.org , or just keep reading below:

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The traditional school system needs to be challenged. Millions of kids attend classes of dubious benefit against their will, and many of them (and their parents) are fed up with the constant stress, alienation and competition. Fortunately there's an alternative: Sudbury Schools!

The Sudbury Model of education is a true alternative to the traditional school system. The school is run as a democracy; every staffer and every student gets exactly one vote, regardless of age. As a result, dumb rules tend to get swept aside, the school is better governed, and the students learn how to be part of a democratic community. Sudbury schools allow the kids a great degree of freedom in pursuing their own interests, rather than bogging them down with a cookie-cutter model of what everyone is "supposed" to know. (Be honest, how many of you have actually needed the quadratic formula in your post-school years? Maybe 2% of us, total?)

The result is a school in which kids enjoy a great deal of freedom, yet they still learn responsibility. They learn to learn, and their inborn curiosity is nurtured (rather than being smothered by rote memorization and other forms of drudgery.) They learn confidence, self-direction and social skills.

An excellent 3-minute summary has been provided by the Hudson Valley Sudbury School in New York. You can watch it here (https://www.facebook.com/HudsonValleySudburySchool/videos/10155951019968804/).

If you're wondering whether a school like this could possibly work in reality, the answer is yes. The first Sudbury school was founded over 50 years ago in Massachusetts, and remains in operation to this day. Surveys of graduates showed that people who grew up with this kind of education report great success in the adult world. Several books have been written on the subject, including the work Free to Learn (https://www.amazon.com/Free-Learn-Unleashing-Instinct-Self-Reliant/dp/0465084990/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520297359&sr=8-1&keywords=free+to+learn) by developmental psychologist Peter Gray, who has documented the benefits of the Sudbury Model.

We're interested in bringing the Sudbury Model to the north suburbs of Chicago, ideally by founding a school of our own. If you're interested in helping the next generation become more confident, more skilled, more self-directed and more considerate, then we invite you to join us for a series of discussions in which we will explore the Sudbury Model in-depth and make plans for the future.

Not everyone does well in the traditional school system. Thousands of kids need an alternative. With your help, we can make it happen.

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