Free! May Community Events

The school year is winding down and spring is in full bloom, readying the world for summer.  As you think about school options for next year, this is a perfect time to come see how the world is our classroom at Open Doors.

Our Wild Edibles class takes a moment with the daffodils at Aquinas College.

Open House

Monday, May 12, from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m..

Come to Open Doors for a tour and talk to the staff about how it all works.  Light snacks will be served.

Eastown is Our Classroom

Thursday, May 15, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Led by Director Rebecca Kirk, the group will meet at Open Doors, then explore how Open Doors teens learn in our vibrant community.  Local businesses with art and antiques, foraged wild edibles, Frisbee and hula hooping in the park, and your choice of snack from one of the many local restaurants, from Yesterdog to Kava House to Spoonlickers — Eastown makes a wonderful classroom!  We’ll see you there.

A Self-Directed Teen Speaks

A member of the Compass Centre for Self-Directed Learning in Ontario, Willow shares her story.  “I looked from the outside like I was thriving in school,” she says.  In actuality, “I had succumbed to the anxiety of school work, social pressures, and the constant feeling that I was only worth the grades I received.”

Even though she was unhappy, it was difficult for Willow to leave the established norm of traditional school.  We know it can be difficult for our teens and families, too.  Willow’s words of advice to those teens who are thinking about leaving school:

“You may feel lost and alone, but this life you are considering will be so much more meaningful to you, because it will be your own life, and in the end, that’s all that counts.”

An Easy Way to Help Us Help Teens

If you’ve been looking for an easy way to support Open Doors — something that costs you nothing and doesn’t require a long term commitment — we have the perfect opportunity for you.

Thumbs up!

The Grand Rapids Parade of Homes runs from May 23 to June 7 this year, and Open Doors will receive part of the proceeds in return for staffing one of the homes.  All you have to do is show up to the address we give you, sit at the table, sell and take tickets, and read your book during the slow times.  You’ll work in 4-hour time slots — either 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. or 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  If you can only serve one time slot during the whole two weeks, you’ll still be helping us immensely.

Sign up and let us know your availability at this NeedToMeet link.  If you do sign up, make sure to email us at so we can confirm.  

And thank you.  Open Doors may be a fledgling organization with a small membership, but we have gotten this far because we have the best volunteers in the world, volunteers who both inspire us and believe in what we do.  If you haven’t been able to join the effort before, we can’t wait to meet you.

Nice to meet you!