By H. Leopold
Springhouse’s mission is to awaken a vitality-centered education that empowers people to courageously respond to the world’s emerging needs. We often highlight the first part of our mission – what is vital and inspiring in the learning that happens here – but the second half of this statement is equally as important.
What are the needs of the world? Of our community? Of the people we know and those whom we’ve never met? How do we creatively and bravely respond to these needs? These questions cannot be answered by one person alone. To be adequately addressed, they require collective input, observation, relationship-building, and courage.
At Springhouse, we are interested in integrating this part of our mission even more intentionally into our curriculum, and this process must include more than the adults on staff. So, together with the learners that are apprenticing with me in vitality-centered educational design, the three of us designed a workshop for our entire school community – teen learners, staff, and fellows – to participate in with the intention of initiating a collective conversation around the issues present in our immediate school community and beyond. Issues that were brought forward included climate change, entitlement, social media, racism, and white supremacy, and the effects of each of these were interpreted through ever-widening lenses – beginning with oneself and broadening out into our school community, our town of Floyd, the entire country, and the world. Since this exercise included perspectives that spanned several generations, responses were diverse and approached these issues from various angles, painting a fuller picture of each issue.
This interactive workshop is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which we at Springhouse will continue to strengthen how we tend to the second part of our mission. As a school for regenerative culture builders, we are committed to fostering vitality so that we may be better able to love and serve the world. I hope you, dear reader, will continue to support us along the way, and I thank you for the ways you already do!