ELN is disrupting monoliths through decolonizing REP (Race, Education, Parenting) Practices
Exploring how perpetuating colonizing tactics and behaviors impact our REP practices and ways to shift barriers toward invitations centered on community, connection, and awareness through multisensory and self-directed learning approaches.
The Friends of FDR Park is a community-led nonprofit organization dedicated to stewarding and advocating for FDR Park.
We are committed to achieving our vision of building one of the greatest urban parks in America, rooted in the ideals of diversity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability.
Let's Go Outdoors is educating city communities to be more conscious of the outdoor world and our impact on it.
LGO is increasing participation in outdoor recreation among peoples of color, bringing families together with everyday outdoor activities, and building community collaborations across Philadelphia!
Hannah Mackay (she/they)
Co-Founder of TDP, Program Co-Director + Facilitator of Wild School, Homeschool Evaluator
Dedicated to ensuring learning is both meaningful and relevant to people's actual lives (#ChildrenArePeople), Hannah is an advocate for self-directed education and believes the only way to "fix" education in America is by creating new systems that leverage community-based support for all learners. Hannah was formerly a secondary English teacher, who now serves as a homeschool consultant/ evaluator and as mama to three unschooling young people. She has used her experience to teach internationally, conduct educational research with Penn State, and was a founding board member of Philly Agile Learning Community School.
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.
Lauren Umlauf (she/her)
Co-Founder of TDP, Program Co-Director + Facilitator of Wild School
Kermit O (he/him)
Program Co-Director + Facilitator of Wild School
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 School, 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 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.
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!
Suma Houldsworth (she/her) Connect with me at lostnfoundwithin.net
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
Sarah Folger (she/her)
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.
Alex is a language teacher from Guanajuato, Mexico who has taught in both primary and secondary schools. She creates vibrant, interactive language-learning lessons for people of all ages. Fluent in five languages, Alex understands language learning as a means to bridging cultural divides. She is currently leading a research project at the University of Guanajuato centered on language learning as an anti-racist tool.
Alex Varmont (she/her)
Bethany Castillo-Cann (she/her)
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.
Lindsay Jagunich (she/her)
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.