The Teen Program offers both class instruction and space for self-directed learning. Participants ages 13-and-up meet at the Garden Classroom on Mondays and Cope House on Thursdays. Teen participants are able to collaborate exclusively with other teens, through a combination of Classes and Open Studio. Talking Stick teens develop essential life skills such as decision making, creative problem solving, communication, self-management, and critical thinking. We provide a safe and social space that respects the individual, nurtures curiosity and supports their desire to learn.
In this program, participants enjoy group activities, collaborative projects, individual exercises, and have time to direct their own learning process. Facilitators initiate group games and team building, lead lessons that expose participants to a wide variety of topics, mentor students in areas where they want to acquire depth and provide a positive atmosphere for social growth. Participants learn how to listen to the ideas of others, how to observe and partake in their success and failures, how to communicate effectively and respectfully, how to share with others, and how to respond to feedback and accept help.
Topic-Based Classes and Open Studio (Mondays & Thursdays)
Annual enrollment in the Intermediate Program gives teens age 13-and-up access to all Teen Classes offered on that day, and they may choose to partake or not the week each class begins. Running concurrently, Open Studio provides young people a facilitated space to learn if they are not interested in a particular class or if they prefer to self-direct.
Our classes allow young people and facilitators to choose content to study together in greater depth. Topic-Based Classes run as long as 6 weeks or up to the entire year, and can cover any subjects the group chooses to learn under the facilitator's guidance. Teen classes may be up to a year long, and commitment to the entire course is expected from the outset. Participants may attend the first day of class as a trial before committing to the class
Past workshops have included such topics as Anthropology, Film Making, Social Justice, Life Skills, Wilderness Survival, Photography, Poetry, the Science of Happiness, Human Rights, Futurology, Philosophy, Psychology, History of War and Women’s Studies. All workshops are inclusive of age and ability and are designed to continue our mission of self-directed and experiential learning.
* Registration for individual workshops will open as space allows.
Open Studio is a self-directed space where young people can collaborate on projects, play games, explore art concepts, and work independently. Art supplies, games, etc will be provided by the Facilitators, but participants may also bring in items from home. Open Studio is a space to share ideas, develop skills in table top games, collaborate on craft projects, and socialize. We intend for youth who attend to feel a sense of belonging, freedom to express themselves while respecting the rights of others and maintain a safe and positive environment.
For Thursday Teens
New this year, we are offering our older teens the option to continue participating in Thursday Intermediate Program.
All Thursday teens ages 13-and-up can can design their own day by choosing between Teen and Intermediate classes. They may opt into the Teen or Intermediate classes for morning, afternoon, or all day. They will also have free time with all ages 10 and above. This way they can transition to more rigorous programming at their own pace, while maintaining mixed age friendships.
Please consider the interest level and readiness of your young person when enrolling them in these programs.
Sample Schedule of a Teen Day
9:00-9:15 Arrive and Morning Meeting
9:15-11:00 Topic-Based Class or Open Studio
11:00-1:00 Free Time or Lunch
1:00-2:45 Topic-Based Class or Open Studio
2:45-3:00 Clean Up and Pick Up
Every program's schedule is individually crafted to meet the needs of and evolve with that particular group of young people and facilitators. They remain flexible and subject to change throughout the program year.