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Ithaca Week, 2013
Local organizations push do-it-yourself activism, learning

Support and interest in the free school has grown since. The first calendar of class offerings only had six classes. This past semester the free school offered 41, more than any other previous semester. Past classes range from yoga and tea to decolonization and eco-feminism.

The current organizer for the Freeskool, Lily Gershon said the increase in the school’s popularity is likely a result of increased interest in community health.

“People in this community are getting more focused on community, local movements, things that are a little bit more outside of the mainstream,” she said. “It’s picking up speed. It’s picking up momentum all over the country and probably all over the world. We’re making a bigger and tighter web.”


CornellWatch, October 8, 2011
A Conversation With Lily Gershon, Ithaca Freeskool

It’s an alternative to main stream education which often lacks flexibility and can be very costly. It’s a lot of fun participating in something that changes every semester, and brings in all the diverse interests of a community.


Little. City. Big., June 20, 2011
Ithaca Freeskool

While most of the classes have already begun, it’s never too late to get involved with Ithaca’s Freeskool


Cornell Daily Sun, November 9, 2010
Ignite Ithaca returns for a second spin Saturday

While each presenter brought something new to the table, the final two speakers absolutely stole the show. Hands down.

Lily Gershn promoted Ithaca Freeskool, a brilliant nonconformist institution in the Ithaca area. Based on the premise of increasing the sustainability of education, Ithaca Freeskool brings people together to learn in informal, non-intimidating settings (i.e. coffee shops, parks, libraries, even peoples’ couches.)

Every class is taught by a volunteer with an interest in the subject. There are no Ph.D.s, hall monitors or school bells involved — just an interest in sharing knowledge with members of the community and increasing interest in local issues.

Classes include Bad Romance Dance Academy featuring Lady Gaga-esque choreography, Vegan Baking, Mushroom Hunting, Anti-Authoritarian Games, Basket Weaving and Norse Mythology. Like Ignite Ithaca itself, Ithaca Freeskool fosters community self-reliance and encourages informal learning.


Shareable.net, September 9, 2010
How to Share an Education

If education is going to be sustainable, it has to be flexible and up-to-date. Freeskools provide an alternative that enable people respond to the month-to-month needs and interests of their community. Classes can evolve as they need to. Remember, if you’ve got skills and knowledge, you’ve got a Freeskool.


Tompkins Weekly, August 30-September 5, 2010
Share Tompkins Touts Barter System, part of the Sustainable Tompkins “Signs of Sustainability” series

Many of the Share Tompkins organizers are also very involved with the Ithaca Freeskool, an all-ages, anti-hierarchical educational initiative that invites anyone to teach classes on topics that foster self-reliance and creative expression. Freeskool calendars are always on offer at Share Tompkins events.

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