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Freeskool – Be An Organizer Meet

Hey friends – get in behind the scenes of Freeskool. Get to know your community and help grow it. :)

Come be part of the behind-the-scenes of Freeskool. We’re looking for organizers to help find teachers, make art, distribute calendars and all the other Freeskool goings-on. Being part of the team means getting to know the community, learning programs like InDesign, making posters, being creative and radical. Come get a sense of what it’s all about. Can’t make the date? Get in touch and we can figure something out.

Who: Your Freeskool Organizers freeskoolithaca@gmail.com

When: 4/6 2pm

Where: Crow’s Nest Cafe above Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Commons

cropped-freeskoolbanner08summer.jpg

New Classes Feb-April 2014

Yes, indeed. New freeskoolartfeb2014classes are upon us yet again. We are so lucky. And they’re free? Again? Like, for real? Hey, we wouldn’t let you down.

Check out Ballet Folklorico, Soil Science, Ithaca Fixers Collective, Self Care Spa and much more on our calendar page.

Check out the PDFs:
Feb – April Calendar
Class Descriptions

What’s more, you can be an organizer, too. Get skills, come to our meeting:

Freeskool – Be An Organizer Meet

Who: Your Freeskool Organizers freeskoolithaca@gmail.com

When: 4/6 2pm

Where: Crow’s Nest Cafe above Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Commons

Come be part of the behind-the-scenes of Freeskool. We’re looking for organizers to help find teachers, make art, distribute calendars and all the other Freeskool goings-on. Being part of the team means getting to know the community, learning programs like InDesign, making posters, being creative and radical. Come get a sense of what it’s all about. Can’t make the date? Get in touch and we can figure something out.

Report from the DIY Solar Panel Cooker Class

Last Saturday, Shawn Reeves of EnergyTeachers.org came over to Shira and Ari’s house to give a workshop on how to make a solar panel cooker using recycled materials. Visit the Shirari blog for photos and info on how to make your own!

Freeskool, Meet Swidjit

A letter from Swidjit founder, Alex Colket.

Hi Freeskoolers-

I hope your studies have been going well this semester, that you have all learned something from each other and hopefully a thing or two about each other as well :) I think what you all have going on here is one of the most beautiful things in Ithaca and I always tell people about it when I boast about the awesome place we live! However, I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have not attended class this semester, as I have been a bit obsessed with something else that I would like to
discuss with you today. It’s called Swidjit, and if you like to share or build community, I think you will like it.

Publicly, I often frame Swidjit as a platform for a local economy because that seems like a message that will resonate in this current economic climate. However, in my head and in my heart, I see it just as much as a platform for a collaborative community, a suite of tools to allow friends, neighbors and groups to share, network and organize in ways that provide easier access to local information and opportunities. Freeskool is a great example of the possibilities inherent in such a system of community sharing, as the number of useful skills or interesting experiences you can have on others generosity seems to grow each semester. Swidjit respects and embraces Freeskool and hopes to support and encourage it in many ways. For instance, I think it would be great if teachers/students had the option of creating a class community on Swidjit and using it to organize class meeting times, provide links to other useful resources, share relevant media files, host discussion topics, post notices, etc. It would be a way to easily supplement the hands-on, person-to-person teaching/learning/sharing nature of the freeskool with a virtual
collection of pertinent resources and a place to connect when not in class, for those who wished to take part in it. I believe that the Swidjit platform coming this spring is going to provide a lot of exciting opportunities to give and share and trade and connect with others around us and I hope that many of you organizing or instructing or attending Freeskool will share some of that energy with Swidjit and work with me to build another amazing community resource!

You can check out the Ithaca Freeskool page on Swidjit and see how they are already integrated. Classes appear on the public calendar, and viewing the Freeskool profile page will show you all the upcoming classes that are offered. You can even set an event reminder to have Swidjit send you an email the before to help you remember to attend. You can also use the calendar to find out about other community events or perhaps to discover other items related to the classes you are investigating. Much more will come down the road as I improve the platform.

Please feel free to contact me through the site to share ideas, feedback or questions.

Alex Colket

Video: Ithaca Freeskool at Ithaca Ignite


Ignite Ithaca
is a “high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea – and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd.” Lily Gershon did a jam-packed presentation on Freeskool on November 6, 2010 at the Pixel Lounge.

Ithaca Freeskool on Shareable.net!

Ithaca Freeskool on the homepage of Shareable.net

“Shareable is a nonprofit online magazine that tells the story of sharing. We cover the people, places, and projects bringing a shareable world to life. And we share how-tos so you can make a shareable world real in your life.”

Freeskool organizer Lily Gershon wrote a great article about Ithaca Freeskool for the site called “How to Share an Education, ” featuring photos and a video by Shira Golding. You can read the whole article and here’s an excerpt:

You’re in the park surrounded by swaying willows, or maybe knee deep in goldenrod in someone’s backyard, or sunk into the couch in a small apartment on Cayuga Street.

Usually, one way or another, a circle is formed. What are you doing here with a professor from Maine, a few pink-haired chatty teenagers from town, a local diesel mechanic, and a retired couple who brought cookies? You’re here to learn how to weave baskets out of the long limbs of willow trees. You’re discussing how Thor got along with the giants in Norse Mythology. You are about to plant the first herb in your medicinal garden. You’ve been hearing about natural gas drilling, but want to get more information. Any one of these people might be your teacher today.

In Ithaca, New York, the Ithaca Freeskool offers you an alternative to traditional education. With classes like Mushroom Hunting, Bike Repair, Know Your Rights with Debtors, and D.I.Y. Movie Making, it’s a refreshing variety of completely free classes for people of all ages. Started only a few years ago and run entirely by volunteers, the Freeskool gives the community an opportunity to share their skills and knowledge.

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