FALL 2016 Class Schedule


The calendar is constantly under construction based on teens’ interest and needs. Check back frequently.

It’s important to know classes are just one aspect of the Open Doors experience. Each teen works individually with an advisor to create a relevant, specific, and inspired learning plan.

Powerful Possibilities

Instructor: Jacob Sabourin

A seminar in which teen members discuss real issues in their lives and current events they see in the local community. We connect these issues to regional and global patterns, media narratives, and international relations. Topics can range from biology to history to geography to sociology to politics to philosophy.

Environmental Happenings

Instructor: Rebecca Kirk

Life is all around us. Let’s explore what we know about it and discover what we don’t.

Art Studio

Instructors: Mary Mystzka – watercolor

Terese Olson – watercolor

Patti Sevensma – photography

Deb Vandeusen – ceramics

Carol Laurn – drawing

Kim Gill – collage

Led by a team of six professional artists and members of Grand Valley Artists , Open Doors students have the opportunity to work in a real artist’s studio, experiment with their own ideas and designs, receive guidance on technique, and collaborate with others on group projects.

Cultural Inquiries

Instructor: Jacob Sabourin

A class about culture! How do customs, language, religion, geography, and economics shape the worldviews of people around the globe? We explore how social norms subconsciously influence our behavior, how and why subcultures form, the historical flow and metamorphosis of culture over time, and even the emergent cultural systems populating the Internet. We discuss and critique cultural phenomena in this seminar, which also includes projects on particular cultural themes.

Applied Psychology / Science of the Mind

Instructors: Judy Jankowski and Rebecca Kirk

Exploration of the brain and how it works and develops.


Instructor: Andi Job

A physical education class involving free play with a plethora of possible activities including but not limited to tennis, basketball, baseball, frisbee, martial arts, double dutch, poi, dance, battle gaming, badminton, hiking, water polo, dodgeball, skee ball, rock climbing, or general horseplay.


Instructor: Jacob Sabourin

An introductory to the Spanish language. Parts of speech and conjugation are practiced alongside cognate recognition and cultural discussion to improve understanding of all languages as well as provide a solid footing for practical Spanish conversation.

Cooking Club

Every Monday, the student-organized-and-run cooking club meets to plan meals, shop for ingredients, fundraise, and, of course, cook. Cooking club cooks lunch for The Geek Group staff and members three times per month and cooks meals for HQ, a drop-in center for runaway and homeless youth in Grand Rapids, once per month.

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