In a traditional indigenous, Zapotec village, where schools and teachers do not typically have the energy to dedicate one on one time with the children, understanding the needs of each child and how to best support them, Ananda Learning Center offers alternative, holistic, nature based, "private" school education at public school costs. We also offer trainings to public school teachers and directors so that Montessori and other alternative methodologies do not need to be so inaccessible.
Quality education is difficult to access in our small, rural village. Children lose interest at an early age in the public schools, often dropping out after elementary school. Students that finish high school are rarely able to continue on to University, nor are they prepared for village life. While in school they spend free time doing homework missing the opportunity to engage with their families in agriculture; they turn their backs on tradition and reject the campesino way of life at large.
Children experience individualized, hands-on learning that integrates the natural environment, gardening and reforestation as well as the arts and trades with standard academic topics. The school is bilingual Spanish and English, which opens up many opportunities. We are witnessing a change of attitude and perception towards education. School is now seen as useful. The rapid growth in student enrollment and high level of engagement is encouraging and confirms the powerful impact and results.
It has been acknowledged internationally that conventional schooling is deeply in need of improvement. There is a growing need for and interest in training in alternative educational methodologies. We offer educational workshops to teachers and directors of public schools throughout the state, thus increasing our impact. Tuition is based on a sliding scale, making it accessible to everyone. And we see a future with our young people continuing a respectful, sustainable, rural way of life.