The Brooklyn School Alternatives Conference will be held in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on May 9th and 10th, 2015.
Peter Gray, the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, will present his research on free play and self-directed learning.
The conference is open to all, including families who are thinking about leaving the traditional school system and those who are already using family and community-based approaches to learning, including homeschooling, free schooling, and cooperative schooling.
The event will be held over two days. The first day will feature a wide array of school alternatives. The second day will take place outside in Prospect Park, and will feature a DIY picnic, free play, as well as some informal outdoor activities.
Day 1: May 9th: 12:30 – 5.30
Cost: $20/person (*see note on children below)
Old First Reformed Church
126 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
12:30 Doors open
1:00 Panel 1 – Free schools and coops
Lily Mercogliano, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Free School
Ryan Shollenberger, NYC Agile Learning Center
Angela Garber Wolff, South Mountain Coop
Maysaa Bazna, Ed.D. Founder and Director of Pono
Noah Apple, Brooklyn Apple Academy
2:00 Panel 2 – Homeschooling parents
Victoria Alexander Ph.D., founder of the Dactyl Foundation, author, and homeschooling mother.
Jennifer Florez is the founder of NYC Homeschooling Chorus. She lives in Queens
3:00 Peter Gray, Author of Free to Learn
5:30 Doors close
Day 2: May 10th: 12 – 5
– free event!
Prospect Park Tennis House on The Long Meadow, Brooklyn. CHANGED LOCATION!
DIY picnic, free play, and activities in Prospect Park. You can find more information on the Facebook page for the event.
– It’s Mother’s Day too! Celebrate mom while the kids play!
Information for Attendees:
The Brooklyn School Alternatives Conference is being organized as a grassroots effort by local Brooklyn parents. We would like to accommodate families with children of all ages who want to attend the first day’s discussions, but the cost of renting an additional, separate space to facilitate free (and possibly noisy) play is high. As of now, we have rented an upstairs space at Old First Reformed Church, which has a total capacity of 100 people. There will be a room to the side of the main space that could be used by children for quiet activities, like drawing or reading, while the panel discussions and presentations are going on. Snacks will be provided by our proud sponsor, Local Roots NYC.
It is possible to rent a large downstairs space at the church that includes access to the outside play area and would be ideal for free play. We welcome donations that could make this possible.
Day two of the conference will be held at Prospect Park. The conference has made no formal arrangements with the park, so this will be a totally DIY, informal free event. We will meet on the lawn below the tennis house, on the Long Meadow. CHANGED LOCATION! Bathrooms are available nearby. Families can bring food to share with others if they want, but it is not required. There will be no food or refreshments provided by the conference on day two in the park. There will be some activities for children.
* On day one, children under the age of 2 are free and limited quiet space is available for older children. Day two is a free DIY event at the park open to all.
Photograph from Flickr used under a Creative Commons license