Home » Newsletters Sept-March

Newsletters Sept-March

For the past few months, I’ve composed and sent out monthly newsletters to ALC Network members. Here are a few of them…

9.4.17

Hi everyone!

Back in September of 2013, I could have updated the whole ALC Network by just walking into the back room of the East Harlem school and talking to the 4 men there. Today, it takes coordinating lists of nearly 200 contributors across several platforms–and I know I need to request ALC coherence holders pass this on to co-facilitators I’m missing // polyglots translate this into the primary languages of your communities then share it–to reach almost everyone. It blows my mind, and this is just the beginning. Ready?
We have new calls, coherence holders, learning centers, and email lists! 
Are you ready for our Year 5 upgrade? Read on…
Calls Monday nights at 7:30 pm EST
  • First week of the month, we’ll have a call for new members and those in Start-Ups.
  • Second week, we’ll have an Hangout hosted by ALC staff (NYC hosts 9/11/17).
  • Third week, we’ll have a recorded call on a specific ALC-relevant topic.
  • Fourth week, we’ll have a big-picture, network updates call.
Our Hangouts room is —
Check hosts/topics on our —
Email me to offer to host a call/propose a topic.
 
CH
  • Loren, from ALC Heartwood, is our current web-tech CH. He can be reached at —, or on Slack.
  • I’m still CH for weekly calls! Let me know if you want to tap me out.
  • Mercer, Tomis, Art, and I are CH for a Network-wide reboot/update this fall. We’ll be coordinating with the working groups (WG) of volunteers tending the website/tech platforms, updating the Starter Kit, managing the Network nonprofit’s finances, and organizing trainings. We’ll probably see some new working groups emerge before the year’s out…which I’m excited for. In the meantime, I’m CH for reviewing and organizing some of our data, so you’ll hear from me a bunch this year. Want to link up with or start a WG? Or help me go through our data? Just let me know 🙂
  • Mercer and I are CH for new member support. She’s at — and I’m at —
ALCs
 
Eeeeep! There’s so many! Our InterALC support infrastructure has grown from calls and emails to blogs, incorporated Trello, shifted from email to Slack, and started to include regional retreats//trainings. We’re looking to keep that momentum going and find ways to get better and better at supporting each other.
I have a REQUEST related to this intention: Please have a coherence holder from your ALC fill out THIS FORM. Or do it together like we will in NYC…whatever works for you is fine. Please have it filled out by the end of September. If you do it now, you won’t forget 😉
Email Lists
 
Our email lists are outdated. I want to fix this, so please let me know if you’d like to be added or removed from:
  • support@alc.network  — where we answer questions, like on #support on Slack
  • info@alc.network  — where we answer more general questions and get updates
  • editors@alc.network  — this isn’t active, but it was for those managing our GDrive
  • ——@alc.network  — for ALFs…and where I will someday send emails like this one
There’s no newsletter/supporter list yet. Speak up if you want to start one. Also please speak up if you want to volunteer to translate communications. 
 
That’s all! For now 🙂 
 
Love and logistics,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & administrator, ALC-NYC
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10.8

Hi everyone!

Last month I sent an email with updates…Last week I decided I’m going to do this monthly until we get a Newsletter working group up and running. Cool? Cool. 

I drafted this email in the

4 facilitator

4 regular volunteer

30 kid and

51 parent

diverse and vibrant

flagship of the ALC network,

connected [officially] to

37 other projects sprung of

1321 Starter-Kit downloads from our

350 user website which

149 of us discuss (among other things) on Slack and

200+ of us do work related to.

It’s fall (well…in NYC it is) and since I’m still a farm kid at heart, fall for me is a season of preparing whatever we want to have nourishing us through the winter so we can bloom in spring. I intend to cue up projects and organize working groups, so that when the holidays are over and the snow has melted here in the city I’ll get to reflect with gratitude on what we’ve grown together. Stay tuned 🙂

Survey…

The information from the surveys last month has been super helpful. I’m really grateful for the time so many of you took to fill them out and send me individual emails about how you’d like to be involved in this year’s network upgrade! Thanks to what you shared, we’ve got a logo option in the works for folks using-ALC-tools, are putting together a plan for individuals to become network members, have working groups actively upgrading the Starter Kit and network website//map listings. More to come…and the survey is still live if you haven’t submitted it (if you’re a new member, don’t worry about doing this unless you’re excited to…I have your info surveys from when you registered…).

Calls…

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —…which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

This coming week’s call is hosted by ALC Mosaic staff and will likely be the last one that Nancy Tilton (ALC Mosaic founder and director) is on before her baby arrives. Want to hear about community building with parents, the house and magical play-yard they’ve been building, adapting meetings/offerings for different age groups, or how to take kids on backpacking road trips? Sign on Monday at 7:30 pm est. 

**The following Monday’s call will be a recorded open conversation about morning and afternoon meetings. We’ll be sharing what they look like in our different communities, what we’ve found works/doesn’t work, and what challenges we’d like support troubleshooting. Topic pulled from #startup-support Slack channel**
Puerto Rico Support…
Nancy Tilton and Lacy Manship have been working hard to share ExAlt’s Amazon Wishlist for those who want to support our ALC family in Puerto Rico. Lacy’s most recent email reads: “I just wanted to update that the Amazon wishlist items include an embedded shipping address directly to Alex.  When I went through the checkout I was able to easily select ‘Ship to wishlist recipient, Alex [Aldarondo]’ or something like that.   We have confirmation that Amazon is shipping to Puerto Rico.”
An Opportunity (actually two)…
Tomis Parker shared in Slack that the new owner of this camp is open to someone from ALC taking the director…: https://www.longacre.com/
Also news from Tomis, ASDE is launching local meet-up groups. If you’re with a new program looking for local collaborators or an established program with enthusiastic parents needing a place to channel movement-growing energy, check out self-directed.org. (And then let Scott Noelle know how pretty the website is…)
 
Events…
Our network coherence holders for Latin America–Alex Aldarondo and Rebecka Koritz–are hosting a training in San Luís Potosí, Mexico in November. Info at http://exaltpr.org/capacitacion-alfs-slp/. Their bios are on the page 😉
Liliana Carrillo, a new member who attended several trainings this summer and is looking to start an ALC in Belgium, is hosting a local event in Dutch to seed an ALCcommunity in Ghent, Belgium.Her program is this month, with Ryan Shollenberger and Melody Compo of ALC-NYC offering remote support/participation. Lili can be reached at —
Rubén Alvarado, an experienced program facilitator who was present for the inception of ALCs at Emerging Leader Labs and has recently been practicing as an ALCfacilitator in Florida and Mexico, is hosting a local event in Xalapa, Mexico in December, with plans for Alex Aldarondo and I to participate as seasoned ALFs. Rubén can be reached at —
TL;DR Gushy-ness, survey, call info, PR support, opportunities, events, viola.
Whew! That’s it for this month!
 
Love, logistics, and small humans spelling,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & administrator, ALC-NYC

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11.13

Hi everyone!

Last month I decided I’m going to send monthly update emails across the network until we get a Newsletter working group up and running. Here’s your November note! 
 
It’s Scorpio season and I’ve been reading adrienne maree brown’s latest book, which means November here in Washington Heights has been full of boldness. Boldly dreaming about what’s possible for us to be and build. Boldly moving to engage with the invitations to grow tucked in the daily challenges I face. Boldly rejoicing over the work of far-away folks I’ve never met (your social media game is so good!) There’s more, but you probably get the point.
If you’re also feeling eager to move the world more than you already [fantastically, just by being a force in it] do, I’ve got some requests/project ideas in this email, near the bottom. Announcements first, though 🙂
…..

Survey…
At this point, I’m assuming those who haven’t clicked through this won’t. The survey is still live though… just in case 🙂 We got some really amazing and helpful responses, and I really appreciated the follow-up direct emails I got from some of you. I didn’t get back to some of the offers for support–it’s been a little busy tending my local ALC recently–but I have them all saved! I’ll be sending out requests for these in the coming months as the Network Upgrade we’re in month 3 of continues. That said, here’s a friendly reminder that you don’t have to wait for anyone’s approval/permission to start doing cool things in support of our mission! And you can always ask Mercer, Tomis, and I if you need data/docs/codes to do what you’re doing.

Calls…

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —…which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

***Next Monday’s call will be a recorded open conversation about supporting a diverse community of learners. We’ll be sharing what this looks like in our different communities, what we’ve found works/doesn’t work, and what challenges we’d like support troubleshooting. Topic pulled from #startup-support Slack channel, where neurodiversity and different folks’ different holidays were the specific subtopics mentioned**

Puerto Rico Support…
Puerto Rico is still reeling from Irma+Maria in September. This Amazon wishlist has items requested by Alex and Yineza, who have been both organizing ALC ExAlt and relief efforts in the area around San Juan. Select the Mans de Alejandrino address for shipping. One of Alex’s photos is attached to this email.

 
An Opportunity…

Heartwood ALC in Atlanta, Georgia is hiring! Google their amazingness, then email —– if you have someone to send their way.


Events…
The San Luís Potosí, Mexico training in November is coming up in a week! Info at http://exaltpr.org/capacitacion-alfs-slp/.

Rubén Alvarado, an experienced program facilitator who was present for the inception of ALCs at Emerging Leader Labs and has recently been practicing as an ALC facilitator in Florida and Mexico, is hosting a local event in Xalapa, Mexico in December.
ALC-NYC will be hosting a mini web-conference on December 1st! We’ll be live-streaming a mix of daily happenings and special offerings/interviews from our East Harlem school starting at 9:15 am est. Link will be on our FB page.
Comings and Goings
 
As of mid-October, Eric Bear is no longer affiliated with the ALC Network.
As of 11/13 Arthur Brock is no longer affiliated with the ALC Network.
We appreciate the work they did for this project and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. On a related note, through February 2018, the board will be looking for individuals literate in open-source culture to include among the candidates for board membership come the already-planned transition of the board in spring.
In October we welcomed The FreedomHill Project, Free Range Education Learning Center, Denver Agile Learning Center, Anna Julia Cooper Learning & Liberation Center, Bethany Lopez, and Pathfinder Community School to the ALC Network! There is also a plan in the works to offer individual membership by January of 2018, supported by the pro bono work Will Harris-Braun is doing designing two new logos for use by individuals, folks using our tools, and others inspired by our work who aren’t running ALCs.
InterALC Sharing
Super appreciative of all Loren and Dan have been doing to try to fix our website, which you’ve probably noticed has been struggling to handle all the attention it’s getting these days. Someday it’ll have a place for sharing our social media feeds (or be a more robust sharing platform itself!) but in the meantime I highly recommend checking out the social media feeds of other ALCs. I wouldn’t have any idea about bouldering at ALC Cluj, bow-making at a parent-inclusive day-of-play hosted by Heartwood ALC, or the Star Wars marathon at Mont-Libre ALC if I didn’t do my best to be following your projects on FB and Instagram.
Slack chatter has been doing what it does–ebbing and flowing as the school year constantly rearranges our schedules. My last use report says we’re mostly using it for private communications, which is nifty. I’m also really excited to see new people jumping in on #announcements and #startup-support. More voices! Yay!
Finally, I hear there have been some InterALC offerings–Minecraft, writing, more Minecraft–springing up. Sooooo excited about this. And so are the NYC teens 🙂
***Requests***
In an ALC? Email me 1-3 photos to be included in an end-of-year publication! Please include ALC name, location, and names of any staff pictured.
While you’re at it, I’m collecting 10-15 sec. video clips to edit together into a year-end montage for us. Please put them here, with your ALC name in the file name. Even better, email me if you actually know how to make a video and want to take that off my plate 😉
Got translation skills or community members who do? Let me know! I’d like to get a working group together, with the intention of getting the network home page, faq page, facilitation SK, and full SK translated into at least 3 other languages (but could we do 5?!?) by the end of 2018.
Want to host an event for folks in your area? I’m going to start reaching out to starter-kit downloaders in January (email me if you want in on that fun), and I’d love to have some spring events to send them to. Interested in hosting an info session or other event for them in your region? Let me know so I can send them your way!
Worked an ALC event? Interested in contributing to a doc of lessons and reflections for those interested in planning/organizing/hosting/running ALC events in the future? That’s one of my big January-to-April projects, and I’d love to collaborate with you. Email/Slack me!
TL;DR 🦂🔋🗓✨📸📚
 
That’s all, folks!
Love, mint tea, and a dance party for two,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & Facilitator, ALC-NYC
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12.17

Hi everyone!

As one of our kids likes to say these days, happy smiley-dog-in-the-sheep season! (He got it here, if you’re curious.) It’s December! Eeeep we’re almost done 2017!
 
And woah. What a year it’s been. My intention is to send an end-of-the-month note about that…so keep a look out. In the meantime, I’m a touch late with this update. Sorry!
End-of-year in Nonprofit land has me reviewing books/budgets, and I’d like to share some of my notes with you. Currently, we offer the world our philosophy and Starter Kit for free. Membership to the ALC Network costs organizations $95. That price gets staff/community-builders use of our branding, a pin on our map, a website and support with it, access to the community through Slack, access to community documentation on Google Drive, invitations to weekly Zoom calls, and notice of events.  Almost all the work to upkeep and generate sharable value through these resources/platforms is volunteered by ALC community members. This means sometimes it’s messy (like when a school emergency eats up all the time I’d allocated to drafting this email two weeks ago, so here I am behind on my self-imposed deadlines…), and it also means there’s lots of space to jump in and shape our growth with your work to whatever extend you feel moved to.
What kind of work have we been up to? Running schools, planning events, running events, building webpages, answering contact forms, hosting calls, offering coaching calls, answering questions on Slack, publishing photos/videos online, creating logos/branding, connecting with other schools, researching models, conferring with legal counsel, giving legal counsel, accounting, publishing emails, meeting with mentors/investors, cleaning up documentation, producing documentation, translating documentation, working on the Starter Kit, working on the Facilitation Guide, drafting the Events Guide, translating, local community organizing, meetings and meetings and meetings, meditating in prep and for processing of meetings…and so much more. Derrick Jensen has a definition of education that puts it in terms of midwifing–drawing forth and bearing witness to the birth [emergence] of–that resonates with me as a description of facilitation, both in terms of individuals and of broader social change. I hope you all see and appreciate yourselves and each other. You’re the heartbeat of a movement, and I’m so grateful for each of you. Thanks for doing the work.
In the first years of the ALC Network, there were [this is my personal perspective…others may disagree..] a handful of us scrambling to educate ourselves, sprout our local communities, define our broader ecosystem, generate open-source documentation of the work we were doing, and seed communities of collaborators around the world. At some point, those holding schools and those focused on consulting/documenting got out of alignment. It sort-of works for there to be a team focused on grassroots work and a team focused on supporting the spread of ideas, especially with really amazing individuals having set solid bones–in terms of personal relationships and shared resources–for newcomers to build on. We could have decided to just name that dynamic, could have accepted that we’d lose grassroots folks who burnt out and newcomers who needed more supportive onboarding until we grew to a point where the work of harbor-piloting the many wasn’t falling on the shoulders of an already-courting-burnout few. My human-nurturing server and efficiency-minded warrior selves would have been frustrated, but things would have overall been ok. Instead though, a few of us who had been tending this project since the beginning decided in the fall of 2016 to take a pause. Mercer and I specifically committed to do some intentional listening, particularly to the ALFs and community-builders on the ground, whose energy facilitated the continued growth of our ecosystem. If you’ve been in conversation with us over the past year, you’ve probably noticed the refining and resetting we’ve been working on (a ‘we’ that includes everyone growing facilitators, communities, self-directed beings, and richness in communication channels). There’s been some going-back-to-the-roots and working to break from unhelpful patterns, and it finally feels (to me at least) like we’re on a path towards more sustainable growth.
With most of its expenses related to the upkeep of infrastructure (websites, Slack, Zoom, and 501c3 status), the Network’s operations are expected to have cost $12,849 by the end of this year. With the majority of its revenue from membership payments (around 36) and unsolicited donations (2), its projected to end the year having brought in about $10,325. In previous years, that difference would have been made up by consultants’ fees and Network-hosted training events. This year, that energy went towards deepening connections between schools, supporting facilitators, visioning responsible growth, and figuring out how to support schools/facilitators in hosting events that nourish their local communities. It’s been a year where we’ve collectively generated lots of value…we just haven’t converted it to bill-paying dollars yet. But it’s cool…we’ve got enough saved from previous years to cover our expenses, plans for more financially balanced operations//fundraising in 2018, and a reaffirmed dedication to prioritize accessibility and growing well over chasing profits and growing fast. From here things feel…really good. I might even take some time over New Years to make pretty charts to illustrate all the reasons why I feel like things are looking so good. Maybe. If not, I’ll get to it by the end of February, for sure 😉
Below are this month’s announcements, followed by updates on Network conversations and requests for your input. Ready?
…..
Events…
There’s a Teespring campaign live for a few more days at https://teespring.com/stores/agile-learning-centers to support the Network work. The folks on #website are working on a tech upgrade, and I’ve been dreaming of facilitating retreats//exchanges for the generous harbor-piloting ALFs to level up each other. And who doesn’t want ALC socks…
From the two events in Mexico that just finished, Rubén, Rebecka Koritz, and Alex Aldarando have channeled lots of energy to gathering resources for Spanish-speaking communities. They’re hosting monthly calls, a Slack channel, a Whatsapp group, and have folks working on translating the Starter Kit. Reach out if you want to support them in keeping this momentum going. ((Not a Spanish-speaker but looking to help break the everything-is-in-English pattern? Rebecka also writes/podcasts in Swedish, and Nariman Moustafa translated lots of our web content into Arabic for her community’s website! You can find projects/collaborators on Slack, and share your work on #announcements!))
Rubén Alvarado is hosting a local event in Guadalajara, Mexico in January. And possibly one in Colombia after that, I think… And weekend calls (in Spanish) with amazing collaborators from Educambiando.
Julia Cordero and Anthony Galloway of Heartwood are offering a regional gathering in February! Reach out to them if you’re around Atlanta, GA and want more info!
Liliana Carrillo has plans for a spring event in Belgium. Stay tuned for details…
Facilitators Anthony Galloway and Mikala Streeter (of Heartwood and The LIFE School, respectively) are offering a summer program for teens! Check it out.
Comings and Goings…
Since last newsletter, we’ve welcomed CroCreo in Spain and The LIFE School of Atlanta to the network!
Puerto Rico Support…
Thanks for all the generous support you’ve sent to Alex and Yineza. Their Amazon wishlist is still live, if you want to help them continue relief and rebuilding efforts. Select the Mans de Alejandrino address for shipping.

 
Celebrations…
Hope Wilder has a gorgeous new space for Pathfinder Community School!
Tom and Bex are *almost* ready to launch their project in Mullumbimby!
Nancy and Tomis welcomed Huxley to the world on Halloween (photo attached to this email)!
Nariman has the Mesahat ALC up and running!
ASDE put out this awesome video that features students from [at least] 2 ALCs!
Loren’s been keeping the map updated. I haven’t broken it again. ✨ THANK YOU, LOREN!

Calls…

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —–…which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

Calls happen [nearly] every Monday evening, at 7:30 pm est. ***Holiday schedule: 12/18 call is an End of Year reflection at normal time, 12/25 moved to 12/28 in the morning and intended to be an ALF Check-In//Change Up, 1/1 cancelled and 1/8 hosted by ALC-NYC crew***
***Requests***
I got 2 responses to last month’s request for photos/videos. Too much work, huh? It’s cool. Here’s a ⏏Upload a photo or video tagged #AgileLearning2017 to your project’s social media page. I’ll share them to the ALC Network facebook page (or you can post directly there…It would save me so much work 😉 and you’d have all my gratitude…and doing it from your school account would be smart marketing…). The immediate intention is to paint a picture of who and how we are that’s updated from the one our website photos (mostly from 2014-2015) paint. A bonus is that we’ll accumulate a cache of photos to use when we get around to updating the website photos (‘cuz we’re still heavily concentrated in the US, but that’s changing and I’d love our public pages to reflect that reality).
If you translate the network home page, faq page, Facilitation Guide, or Starter Kit, throw a link on Slack at #announcements! Bonus twinkles if you can build/share a page of resources in not-English OR Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy (which I already contacted her and her publisher about because I *so* want copies available in Spanish).
Tech guru? Got community members who are and would gift us some of their energy? Loren Norman and Mercer are CHing a team at #website to plan an upgrade to our web-tech offerings. Let them know if you’re down to help out!
 
Want to host a call that’s not on EST or in English or generally that’s different from what I’m offering? Anyone can edit the InterALC Calendar, use the Zoom room (though only Tomis’ account can record), and post announcements in Slack! What are you waiting for?
Help me make sure this email gets to everyone! I’m pulling email addresses from the membership forms that come in through the ALC Network site, but they don’t always have staff//community stake-holder names beyond that of the main contact. Got community members who should be getting these emails and aren’t? Let me know!
Got your hands full? That’s cool…keep being a rockstar. We’ve got a bunch of projects in the works for January-March 2018: a Network membership option for individuals, a new format for populating our “Events” listing on the website, conversations about diversifying leadership and amplifying the work of local leaders as we expand, brainstorming about how to offer retreats, aaannnndddd more.
TL;DR #AllTheThings #EndOfYearFeels #RadicalGenerosity #ShapeChange
 
That’s all, folks!
Love, Parable of the Sower preoccupations, and snowy streets,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & Facilitator, ALC-NYC
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1.11

Hi everyone!

How lovely to greet you from this side of the new year ✨ My ALC Network goals for 2018 include:
  • strengthen our existing community by updating the GDrive/webpages of resources we provide for orienting new folks and amplifying the 2nd/3rd gen. ALFs stepping up to lead community-building projects
  • putting out an ALC Events Guide as a resource for local organizers by mid-February
  • activating Starter Kit downloaders, starting by organizing the information we have, sharing that information with schools, and seeding conversations where 3+ downloaders are in a similar location
  • personally learning ways to better grow community across distance and language barriers, reaching out to 3 organizations who have a history of doing that work and are explicitly committed to grass-roots and anti-colonialist methods of doing so
  • continue working to increase the accessibility of our resources by sharing news of translation projects, regularly calling for the sharing of non-English resources, shining-up and regularly appreciating all the volunteers contributing to our ecosystem, and supporting the WebTech WG keeping our communication platforms available for us all in whatever ways they ask of me
  • take clear steps to improve the financial sustainability of the ALC Network, separate from increasing transparency about our finances and embarking on event-planning // fundraising efforts, so we end 2018 in the black
  • continue our practice of empowering each other to share organizing // leadership, and also invite into roles with legal leadership titles individuals whose work shows the world what kind of future we’re building together
…and then a teenager reading over my shoulder interrupts to ask about abstract vs “s.m.a.r.t.” goals 😅
Conversations tend to have seasons in our NYC space. They show up across relationships for a few weeks, and then they rest. This season’s conversations so far, depending where folks are in their processes, have either been about how we can always start making different choices when we want to start changing our worlds or about how changing our worlds demands we at some point step out of our theorizing and into our experimenting. Clearly the community is itching to do some work…to make some moves. What’s coolest is hearing kids realize that being in community helps them find the resources and courage to grow. We’ve intentionally nurtured a culture of generosity, and this is one of those seasons when I see our success in everything from a kid bringing in doughnut gifts to a group of teens daring to discuss the big dreams they’re dreaming.
Of course, we also have conversations about lizard-squirrels, the nature of time, and squid-gods. You know, the usual.
I’m not near enough to everyone to hear if conversations echo each other across the network the way they do at school, but what I have been seeing feels…pretty similar. It feels like our community is itching to choose, to move, to work, to grow. For the past few months, I’d heard a lot about individual ideas or projects. Suddenly I’m getting word about all kinds of collaborations–podcasts, conferences, trips, exchanges, trainings, translations, camps, moves, working groups–and it feels like many of us have recently gotten brave, gotten generous, and gotten moving.
Fewer lizard-squirrels with you all, but aspiring to the level of improv skills that our 8-year-olds model feels pretty ok to me. Especially considering many of us have only met online…for now. My 2020 goals include doing something about that. Accomplices are always welcome!
Lots of announcements and updates this month. Here we go…
***Events***
Rubén Alvarado and Rebecka Koritz are hosting a local event in Guadalajara, Mexico right now!
ALC Mosaic is hosting a talk with Akilah Richards this weekend!
I mentioned last month that Rubén, Rebecka, and Alex Aldarando have channeled lots of energy to gathering resources for Spanish-speaking communities. (For a refresher, they’re hosting monthly calls, a Slack channel, a Whatsapp group, and have folks working on translating the Starter Kit. Reach out if you want to support them in keeping this momentum going.) This month Liliana Carillo created several Spanish-language Slack channels. Woot woot! Always liked that “the limits of our language are the limits of our world” quote 😉
Julia Cordero and Anthony Galloway of Heartwood are offering a Conference in February in Atlanta, GA. Tickets available at heartwoodalc.org/summit…and it sounds like there will be a few ALCs represented in the audience.
Anthony and Mikala Streeter (of Heartwood and The LIFE School, respectively) are offering a summer program for teens! Check it out.
December’s Teespring campaign brought in $138. Last email I mentioned that the Network focused on a reset rather than events in 2017 so had to dip into our savings by just over $2000 to cover our [super basic, mostly web infrastructure] expenses through the end of the year. Definitely looking for creative fundraising ideas and donations so I get to write from January 2019 that we ended the year with income…In the meantime, though, the store will be up at https://teespring.com/stores/agile-learning-centers in case you want to rally your local community to help support our work that way.
***Comings and Goings***
Since last newsletter, we’ve welcomed Windsong Learning Community, Render ALC, Harmony, Inc., Karina Rodríguez, and Ding The Universe Canadian Learning System to the network!

***Calls***

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —–..which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

Calls happen [nearly] every Monday evening, at 7:30 pm est. I currently CH from New York, but you’re welcome to host calls in your language/timezone if you feel inspired to! Anyone can edit the InterALC Calendar, use the Zoom room (though only Tomis’ account can record), and post announcements in Slack. We’ve been having some really interesting chats. Thanks for all the enthusiastic participation!
***Announcements***
We now offer individual membership to the ALC Network! Here’s what I wrote about it.
The new logos–“Using ALC Tools” and “ALC Inspired”–are now available in the “Branding” folder of our Google Drive (link on Newbie page below)! Thanks to Will HB for his work on those so we could offer them to Network members who aren’t running ALCs but still want a way to let people know they’re part of our community.
Speak of the Google Drive, I updated the Newbie page that had gotten lost in our piles of documentation-from-the-early-years. It’s got some useful links.
Tomis proposed we upgrade our use of Slack by asking folks to step up as coherence holders for specific channels, and he and Mercer proposed we start archiving dormant channels at the end of the month to clear up the clutter. Let us know on #general if you have opinions on either proposal. My proposal was to start silly games and open questions (they’re coming…) on #random (and maybe a roll-call somewhere) to start community-building for the new year with all the new folks. You can weigh in on that, too, if you like 😉
The WebTech Working Group is planning to remove plugins from the website to help it run faster. They’re going to send out a list, and they’re asking for information about which plugins you do/don’t use. Chat with Loren Norman or Liliana Carillo (or #website) about this if you have info/can help.
Tis the season when summer programs and trainings start getting planned. My vision of an updated alf.agilelearningcenters.org webpage that lets active ALFs use a form to auto-update a map (or calendar or something) with event notices is still somewhere in the future, so you still have to post announcements on Slack or email Loren/me so we know to manually update the page with your info. But…um…please do Slack/email so we can let everyone know what options are available! (NYC will probably post dates by mid-February.)
***Requests***
Get sharing! Thanks to everyone who has been posting their projects and celebrations in Slack! (Did you know there’s a #gratitudes channel?) Please share the amazing work you’re doing there…and/or on the ALC Network Facebook page. Easier to build each other up if we know what folks are working on 😉
Let me know if you want to start reaching out to Starter Kit downloaders! There’s over 1500 of them…and if you watch #z-feed-sk-downloads in Slack you’ll see they’re all over the world. We have their regions and contact info; we just don’t have anyone connecting them to local ALCs, connecting them to each other and offering to cohort-coach, or sending them newsletters/updates at the moment. This would be a great way for someone newer to the network who wants to really impact how we grow to get involved. Or we directors can reach out to the potential volunteers and facilitators among the downloaders-near-us.
If you translate the network home page, faq page, Facilitation Guide, or Starter Kit, throw a link on Slack at #announcements! Bonus twinkles if you can build/share a page of resources in not-English.
Help me make sure this email gets to everyone! I’m pulling email addresses from the membership forms that come in through the ALC Network site, but they don’t always have staff//community stake-holder names beyond that of the main contact. Got community members who should be getting these emails and aren’t? Let me know!
TL;DR There’s all kinds of movement rippling through the network. Because you’re creating the worlds you want to live in. Yay!
*also* don’t you want to share your 2018 ALC Goals? I want to hear them…
 
That’s all, folks!
City snow, being enough, and hallway dances,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & Facilitator, ALC-NYC

————————————————————————-

2.23

Hi everyone!

I’m a little late this month…and the updates I have are big! ✨ Big enough we’ll jump right in…
***Announcements***
The WebTech Working Group has migrated our website to CloudWays and removed a bunch of plugins! They’re still working out the bugs, but the hope is that this will allow our [massive] cluster of sites to run smoother, faster, and more reliably. Shout out to Javair Ratliff and Dan Ports for pulling off the migration! We’re super grateful to the whole working group for all they’ve been doing to keep us online through our growth spurts over the past few years. You can find them at #website if you have questions or have skills and want to help them out.
The website being all fresh and shiny means we’re ready to start sharing our summer facilitator trainings! Listed at alf.agilelearningcenters.org we’ve got:
  • Rubén Alvarado and Rebecka Kortiz’s programs in Mexico, Sweden, and Finland (where Liam Nilsen will join them!) Among them, this ALF team has extensive experience facilitating, starting/running ALC programs, training facilitators, and practicing self-direction/unschooling. Combined, the 3 of them also speak at least 5 languages. 
  • Heartwood ALC‘s first facilitator training program, run by lead facilitators and co-directors Anthony Galloway and Julia Cordero
  • ALC Mosaic’s FIFTH facilitator training program, with their rockstar team of Nancy Tilton, Lacy Arnold Manship, Akilah Richards, Tomis Parker, and Dr. Scott Speed
  • Flagship ALC-NYC’s program with our #superALFteam of Ryan Shollenberger, Mel Compo, Chuck Savoy, and myself
If you have an event to add, email me the details! I know the NYC crew is co-planning a West Coast workshop tour, and I’ll post those details as they get clearer (by which I mean, as soon as I know who other than FTL would want to host them). Please note that we’re currently only posting as “trainings” programs hosted or co-hosted by experienced ALFs (every team above is majority ALFs with 2+ years experience). I’m glad to amplify word of any workshops, camps, or gatherings network members organize, but we don’t have a website page for such events at the moment.
On the topic of who-does-what-and-how, earlier this month I took on the projects of updating both our ALC Network bylaws (we’d inherited the previous set) and the Ecosystem Charter that Tomis Parker created in 2015 and worked on with other facilitators through 2016, pulling agreements//practices from our ALF Community Mastery Board, mixing them with notes from ALF Summer conversations on definitions, and putting it all into handbook form. Since I’ve been hearing requests for clarity on community agreements and definitions, I put both texts together and offer the updated [and intentionally open to continued updates] doc here. It includes links to the Starter Kit and Facilitation Guide as well.
 
While we’re talking links, the Newbie page

has got some useful links.

AND! We’ve got a copy of the Starter Kit in Spanish thanks in large part to Alicia Castillo (and her mom?!? <3) Rubén Alvarado is translating the Facilitation Guide; I’ll share that when I can. Que chido 😉
 
Fiiinnnalllyyy
 
Shout out to Bethany Mikitish for putting the Starter Kit Downloaders export I send out last month into a CRM on Hubspot so we can coordinate as we play with it! Find her on Slack if you want to be added 🙂
 
Whew. That’s all I got for Announcements. Well…that and awe and gratitude. Now on to other fun stuff…
***Events***
Anthony and Mikala Streeter (of Heartwood and The LIFE School, respectively) are offering a summer program for teens! Check it out.
Sara Casey Taleff (of Cottonwood ALC) is also offering a summer program for kids! Check it out.
***Comings and Goings***
Since last newsletter, we’ve welcomed Sara Becker, Arrowleaf, ALC Philly, and Fernas to the network!

***Calls***

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —–..which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

Calls happen [nearly] every Monday evening, at 7:30 pm est. I currently CH from New York, but you’re welcome to host calls in your language/timezone if you feel inspired to! Anyone can edit the InterALC Calendar, use the Zoom room (though only Tomis’ account can record), and post announcements in Slack. We’ve been having some really interesting chats. Thanks for all the enthusiastic participation!
***Requests***
Keep sharing! Thanks to everyone who has been posting their projects and celebrations in Slack! (Did you know there’s a #gratitudes channel?) Please share the amazing work you’re doing there…and/or on the ALC Network Facebook page. Easier to build each other up if we know what folks are working on 😉
If you translate any of our resources, throw a link on Slack at #announcements and/or share in the Member Resources drive folder! Bonus twinkles if you can build/share a page of resources in not-English.
Help me make sure this email gets to everyone! I’m pulling email addresses from the membership forms that come in through the ALC Network site, but they don’t always have staff//community stake-holder names beyond that of the main contact. Got community members who should be getting these emails and aren’t? Let me know!
TL;DR Websites, Summer, Resources!
It’s Black-Panther-Week-part-2//Year-Of-The-Dog//Kids-Getting-Organized season here in NYC. I’m reflecting on what work blocks harm, what work lets me and my relationships be the change, and what work builds new futures. Anything I can do to nurture this network feels like powerfully contributing to that building work…and it feel goooood. Filled with awe and appreciation for you all. Ready for spring?
 
That’s all, folks!
Starlings, Snowdrops, and Steadiness,
Abby Oulton

Co-Director & Facilitator, ALC-NYC

3.21.2018

Hi everyone!

Equinox updates! August 2017 me scribbled ideas of *spring* 2018  into a sketchbook so my winter self would know what kinds of seeds to work on planting and tending. With the kind of gardening I prefer to practice–not crafting measured rows of topiaries but watering as needed, finding ways to invite helpful insects, and pulling weeds for compost–taking time to imagine the feeling I’m working towards is as important an aspect of intention-setting as mapping out my next few steps. They’re infinite games of course, both the imagining and the ecosystem tending, and they’ve brought me joy for years.
The spring ALC Network imagining I did included bringing back regular weekly calls, bringing more folks into conversations about the inspiring InterALC happenings, updating our guiding documents, more clearly communicating and honoring community agreements and boundaries, getting an option set up for individuals not connected to a member organization to become//remain members, starting to call in funding to compensate some of folks’ web-tech and administrative hours, changing the website photos and ALF page to more accurately reflect what our current community looks like, ensuring more regular support is available to both new folks and emerging regional coherence holders, increasing the accessibility of our resources and trainings, reconnecting with Starter Kit downloaders, laying groundwork for ALF retreats to happen more often, increasing exchange between projects, and moving into inspired preparation for spring and summer collaboration. WE’VE DONE SO MUCH! Like…we managed alllll of that. And that’s just during the sleepy fall//winter seasons.
Still trying to nudge a few more happenings along before summer takes off, but I’m feeling pretty good about where we’ll be by mid-May. Grateful to have such wonderful collaborators in movement-making <3
Here’s what’s up:
***Announcements***
Rubén Alvarado translated the Facilitation Guide! Ahora tenemos ambas este y pues Alicia Castillo’s Starter Kit in Spanish! #DuolingoForDays
Tomis Parker updated the Starter Kit version that’s available for download at https://starterkit.agilelearningcenters.org/ then emailed all our previous downloaders with that link, information on our summer programs, and…
…an announcement that an anonymous donor has offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to the network between now and June. The link to share to support that campaign is https://donorbox.org/grow-the-alc-ecosystem!
The website host migration led to some security certificate errors–thanks to everyone who’s been making sure the WebTech team is aware of the issue! They’ve got a temporary fix in place in place. Super grateful for their work and everyone’s patience.
***Events***
Check out the summer training programs listed at alf.agilelearningcenters.org! We’ve got details for nine so far! (*some*dates*and*hosts*have*changed*since*I*last*emailed*)
Tomis and Nancy will be presenting at the AERO conference in New York this June! The local ALFs are organizing a gathering and look forward to seeing some of you 🙂
Sara Casey Taleff (of Cottonwood ALC) is offering a summer program for kids in Montana! Check it out.
Anthony and Mikala have changed summer plans and are no longer offering their teen program.
Rebecka Koritz has plans in the works for a 2 day workshop in Finland in July. Reach out to her for details 🙂
The Adventure Play:Ground in NYC is not *technically* an ALC project, but they were co-founded in part by two of ALC-NYC’s community members… They’re currently hiring playworkers for May through September. Maybe an opportunity more than an event…
***Comings and Goings***
 
Since last newsletter, we’ve welcomed Matthew Abarbanel, Ana Marcos, Flow ALC, The History Tree, and Inspire Educamps to the network!
Can I post exchanges here, too? Shouting out ALC Mosaic for hosting folks from Wildwood and from Heartwood in the past month! Shouting out Heartwood for hosting me, Mullumbimby commons for hosting an ALC-NYC ALF *right*now,* and ALC Mosaic for hosting a whole pack of our NYC kids next month! Makes me want to do a happy dance…

***Resources***

You can find our call schedule on our InterALC Calendar. Our call room is —….which redirects to a Zoom room that Tomis set up for us.

Calls happen [nearly] every Monday evening, at 7:30 pm est. I currently CH from New York, but you’re welcome to host calls in your language/timezone if you feel inspired to! Anyone can edit the InterALC Calendar, use the Zoom room (though only Tomis’ account can record), and post announcements in Slack. We’ve been having all kinds of fun conversations 🙂 Thanks for all the enthusiastic participation!
While we’re talking links, the Newbie page

has [still] got some useful links and the updated//updating Ecosystem Charter is available here!

 
Shout out to Bethany Mikitish for putting the Starter Kit Downloaders export into a CRM on Hubspot so we can coordinate as we play with it! Find her on Slack if you want to be added 🙂
***Requests***
Keep sharing! Thanks to everyone who has been posting their projects and celebrations in Slack! (Did you know there’s a #gratitudes channel?) Please share the amazing work you’re doing there…and/or on the ALC Network Facebook page. Easier to build each other up if we know what folks are working on 😉
If you translate any of our resources, throw a link on Slack at #announcements and/or share in the Member Resources drive folder! Bonus twinkles if you can build/share a page of resources in not-English.
Help me make sure this email gets to everyone! I’m pulling email addresses from the membership forms that come in through the ALC Network site, but they don’t always have staff//community stake-holder names beyond that of the main contact. Got community members who should be getting these emails and aren’t? Let me know!
TL;DR more plant metaphors and trying to celebrate the futures we’re designing while celebrating the moment we’re in (ad infinitum)
That’s all, folks!
Another East Harlem snow day and teenager interjections,
Abby Oulton

co-director & facilitator, ALC-NYC
vice president, Agile Learning Centers

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