‘Snow’vember Happenings

This month, we had a first for Open Doors–a snow day! And in November, no less! Amidst the unpredictable Michigan weather, however, our teens have still found time for some fun, hands on learning. Check it out below:

Our teen members enjoy the homey feel to our space.
Our teen members enjoying the homey feel to our space.
The duct tape class is creating a homemade hammock--made entirely out of duct tape!
The duct tape class is creating a homemade hammock–made entirely out of duct tape!
The artist and his work: a fun, one-of-a-kind centerpiece!
The artist and his work: a fun, one-of-a-kind centerpiece made by one of our members!
Another view of the centerpiece. Isn't it great?
Another view of the centerpiece. Isn’t it great?
One of the classes offered at Open Doors is Zentangle, a relaxing and meditative form of art.
One of the classes offered at Open Doors is Zentangle, a relaxing and meditative form of art.
Our members are the greatest!
Our members are the greatest!
The finishing touches on the duct tape hammock!
Time for the finishing touches on the duct tape hammock!
Madison and the interns hard at work! Who needs a desk, anyway?
Madison and the interns hard at work. Who needs a desk, anyway?
Fun with light and shadows.
Fun with light and shadows.

As always, if you would like to see more, please join us at one of our open houses, held the second Monday of every month. Or contact a staff member. Or simply stop by. We would love to share what we’re doing with you and your teen!

This post is part of our “Your Life – Your Learning!” series, designed to help the Grand Rapids community rethink teen learning, and brought to you with support from the Wege Foundation.

Early October at Open Doors

Have you ever wondered what goes on in some of the classes offered at Open Doors? Our teens are hard at work with some hands-on fun.

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The Mechanical Autopsy class practices picking locks on Open Doors’ front door.
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The Mechanical Autopsy class dissects a broken well pump.
A power drill is also autopsied.
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Teens take a break to enjoy the rain.
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The Wild Edibles class visits a sustainable farm and tiny house in Saranac, MI.
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Open Doors member proudly shows off her latest artwork.

Does this look unlike a classroom? Learning looks different here at Open Doors. We would love to show you more–come visit us at our monthly Open House.

Fall 2014 — Classes And Open House!

(Save the date:  Open House on Friday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m.  More below.)

We’re so pleased to start our Fall 2014 Semester with some amazing teens.

Love these amazing teens.
Yes, even this guy.

During this first couple of weeks, the teens can attend any class they want — this helps them judge whether a class is a fit for their learning goals or not.  Then we can settle on a schedule for the rest of the semester.  Options for classes include Mechanical Autopsy, Film Studies, Powerful Possibilites (a Political Science class), and more. (Click on a class below to see the full title.)

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Film Studies with Bruce Winegar.

We have teens from very different backgrounds, and so we’ve already had opportunities to talk over differences, clarify everyone’s comfort zone, and reach out to make amends.  It’s not always easy, but at Open Doors, resolving communication issues is a major part of the learning.

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Talking LEGO after the Mechanical Autopsy class.
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Brian Leugs, instructor, looking wise about Mechanical Autopsy.
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Rebecca Kirk, Director, crafting and talking with teens on a chilly September day.

Our next Open House will be Friday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. — come see for yourself!  We’ll be hosting in partnership with our neighbor Continuum Healing and their potluck dinner.  You can tour the center, ask questions of the staff, look at example learning plans, and see our members’ work and class materials.

This post is part of our “Your Life – Your Learning!” series, designed to help the Grand Rapids community rethink teen learning, and brought to you with support from the Wege Foundation.

Fall 2014 at Open Doors Center for Self-Directed Teens

Dear Friends of Open Doors:

It’s been a busy summer here at Open Doors.  With your support, we’ve offered a fun summer art program to some very deserving teens and sparked their creativity. Thank you!

Maria Goldsworthy
Art with Nature — part of our Summer Program

We’ve also been gearing up for our Fall semester — it’s Not Back to School time!

We’ll have new incoming members this fall, so we’re lining up member-requested classes like Mechanical Autopsy and Duct Tape Art.  

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Duct Tape Fun!

Our popular Critical Thinking and Feeling class is set to continue, with its emphasis on fun and non-violent communication, led by Adena Koslek.

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Teen Instructor and Coach, Adena Koslek

 

We’ll also continue our Film Studies class, led by local director and film enthusiast Bruce W.

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Bruce, with popcorn, watching the movie Brick with the teens last year.

We’re also offering new classes like Japanese, Political Science, and Hands-On Algebra.

Of course, Open Doors teens choose which classes they’ll take (and whether they’ll take any at all), so the list will change as the semester gets closer.

As you know, classes are only a small part of what we do here at Open Doors.  We look forward to checking in with each and every teen member.  We’ll listen to their goals and questions — we’ll dream with them as they consider how they want to learn at this moment — we’ll laugh as we brainstorm options and imagine possibilities together.  We can’t wait!

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We are literally doing back flips. Well, one of us is.
game theory
So excited!

Will you help us spread the word?  Share this article, come by for one of our new yard signs, tell your friends with teens about Open Doors, or join our team of volunteers — we’d love to have you involved!

Enjoy the rest of your summer ~

Amy Carpenter Leugs, Outreach Director

Amy and tree
Amy Carpenter Leugs