Collaborators

Hannah Mackay (she/they)

Co-Founder of TDP

Co-Director @ Wild Seeds

Homeschool Evaluator

Hannah is a former public school teacher who couldn’t ignore the disconnection between classroom learning and the lives and experiences of young people. Instead of forcing young people into obedience and compliance, school’s should be empowering and affirming spaces for young people to better understand themselves, each other, and the world. Hannah has dedicated her life to advancing the intersectional unschooling movement, centering antiracism, consent culture, conscious and respectful relationships, and environmental stewardship. To make this way of life more accessible, Hannah co-founded TheDandelionProject.us, serves as a co-director + facilitator at Wild Seeds, consults with learning programs interested in shifting towards self-directed education, and she’s an unschool-supportive evaluator + coach for PA Homeschooling families (PHAA member). Hannah’s long term vision is co-creating an intentional community around unschooling and growing a highly-accessible network of learning spaces for young people in Philadelphia.

Kermit O
(he/him)

Co-Director @ Wild Seeds

As Kermit came to understand how schools reproduce relations of domination — manifest in subordination to capital, surveillance, social control, and state violence —  he decided to explore alternatives in community-based settings, including land-based pedagogy and participatory action research. At Wild Seeds, he seeks to engage with young people and their communities in the collective construction of knowledge, shared struggle, and mutual support.

 

You can learn more about Kermit at his website.    

Maria Hughes
(she/her)

Conscious/Respectful Parenting Workshops and Coaching

Maria started a non-profit [Lilypad in Philly], hosting playgroups for parents with young children. Respectful parenting really resonated, and she has been spreading the word for 8 years. Emotional validation is vital, and this knowledge for ever changed how she sees and interacts with children. After an intensive RIE® course, which led to greater understanding of the whys of conscious parenting, she hopes to share how it can help you connect and empathize with children.

Email: ParentInfantPhilly@gmail.com

Insta: @ParentInfantPhilly

Sarah Folger
(she/her)

Art Facilitator

Currently a museum educator at The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Sarah has had over ten years of experience teaching young people in Philadelphia.  She has overseen multiple large scale community art projects through Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program as a teaching artist, worked in school settings teaching art and social justice through the Fleischer Art Memorial’s CPA Program, in addition to working as an artist in residence with Spiral Q Puppet Theater. With a passion for working with diverse communities and advocating for young people, she brings a spirit of curiosity and fun into her teaching practice. Sarah gained her B.A. in Art Education with a focus in Art History from The College of New Jersey.

Bethany Castillo-Cann
(she/her)

Homeschool Evaluator

Bethany is an unschooling mom of two kids, a former music + math teacher (12 years) in the Philly School District, and a homeschool evaluator. She lives in South Philly where she provides child-care and owns Songbird Music, a small business offering local music classes. 

Lauren Umlauf
(she/her)

Co-Founder of TDP

Co-Director @ Wild Seeds

Lauren is deeply committed to creating community centered education. She is a certified elementary school teacher, with a Master's degree in the Science of Instruction, and a parent to three unschooling children. Lauren co-founded the South Philly Cooperative Playschool in 2014 to fill the need for community driven, affordable early childhood education in South Philadelphia. She was also a founding member of the Philly Agile Learning Community in 2018, a school for self-directing young people. Lauren believes that creating a new model of education that prioritizes self-determination and community is the path to liberatory learning.

Sophia Durka (she/her)

Co-Director @ Wild Seeds

Sophia is an urban farmer, writer, Reiki practitioner, and educator from the Bronx, whose work is rooted in seeding sovereignty and empowerment within Black and low-income communities. Sophia began her journey in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Urban Studies and Creative Writing in order to understand the city she now called home. While working at Sankofa Community Farm in Southwest Philly, Sophia became grounded in community organizing around food, land, and intergenerational relationships. Sophia and the highschoolers she helped facilitate were empowered and transformed by the self-directed learning and culturally relevant education offered in the Youth Program. Sophia’s experience at Sankofa and mentoring/nannying young people her whole life (including her two kid brothers, whom she adores) has centered her on a path to re-imagine what schooling can look like for children. She believes deeply that children are wise and have the capacity to understand and shape their own environment, as well as be teachers themselves, when they are trusted to. Sophia’s path has led her to be a co-director and facilitator at Wild Seeds Learning Community, where she aims to foster children's imagination, autonomy, curiosity, and compassion as they develop a community filled with radical love, towards themselves and their world. 

Teresa Giardina
(she/they)

Special Education Coaching

Homeschool Evaluator

My name is Teresa Giardina (she/her or they/them). I am a special education teacher at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philly Free School. I am certified in elementary, special education, and middle school science in Pennsylvania. I live in an intentional community in West Philadelphia with my partner and our two children and two other families. I am the parent of two young people: Gus age 13 and Sage age 2. Gus is homeschooled in a self-directed/unschooled style and Sage is constantly schooling us in the ways of the toddler!

Email: giardina.teresa@gmail.com

Briana Feinberg (she/her)

Dandelion Sprouts Facilitator

Briana Feinberg is a former special ed teacher, school librarian, museum educator, and co-founder of the South Philadelphia Cooperative Playschool.  She fell in love with nature education while attending a class with her 18-month old son at Tyler Arboretum.  She ended up joining Tyler's education staff for several years and is thrilled to be able to introduce city kids to the joys of our natural world right here in South Philly

Suma Houldsworth
(she/her)

Community Workshops

In permaculture the edges are often leveraged as they are considered especially fertile and contain unique species that aren’t found in either of the bordering ecosystems.  Having lived on the edges in so many parts of my life, it seems only fitting that I think of myself as a conduit for transition, helping people invoke change in their own life. I am committed to introspection and sitting with discomfort. I endeavor to look within with compassion, braveness and authenticity. I am a recovering perfectionist on a journey towards surrender.  My explorations have ranged from Kayakalpa and Shambhala buddhism to fermenting foods and barefooting.

 

How do I spend my time these days? Nurturing relationships, home educating, practicing sound healing & nada yoga, healing myself, and cultivating belonging. On to the more concrete facts: I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering; am trained in Wilderness First Response and Agile Learning Facilitation; have worked in engineering, IT, sales, corporate training and, most recently, home education

Connect with me at lostnfoundwithin.net

Lindsay Jagunich
(she/her)

Homeschool Evaluator

My name is Lindsay, and I am here to help support your child's learning adventure. I am a former Elementary Special Education teacher who believes that learning can take place any time and everywhere. I live in South Philly with my husband and two curious and kind kids. 

Community Partners

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