Pioneering Democratic School Destroyed by Fire
Special Conference Edition Tomorrow
Table Of Contents
  1. Fire Destroys Democratic School
  2. Big Conference News Tomorrow!
  3. Secret Worlds of Learning at SVS
  4. AERO Job Listings
  5. School Starters Course
  6. EduShifts Book Initiative
  7. Links and Calendar

Anchor1Fire Destroys Pioneering Democratic School
There was a terrible fire at the pioneering Aventurin School in the Netherlands. Aventurin was one of the first and is one of the oldest democratic schools in Europe. A group from the school came to the IDEC in New york in 2003. It was founded and is operated by the DeVos family. They have made many sacrifices to keep it going, including selling their own house!

Meanwhile their children, who were raised at the school, are doing well. One is involved with electrical engineering. Another is an actor and artist. A third is a classical guitarist. 

Hannah de Vos-Beckers wrote to us that the fire started at a neighbor's house and spread to the school. It is no longer usable. They will soon start meeting at another temporary site and hope to rebuild the school. 

When I told her that I was sure people in our network would help them she wrote: "Wow that would be great! We have an account for people who want to donate. Here in the Netherlands it is enough. "Bic" is the same as "swift". The name of the bank is  Triodos Bank.
The bank number is also on the website.NL 23 TRIO 0212 2632 69  The name is st.Aventurijn, city is Loenen in the Netherlands. Monday we will start with the kids for 2 weeks on another location. I think they will organise something. Then we have a camping week together and then holidays." 

She said her oldest son "studies for electronically engeneering now in the university. He was working with a team on a hydrogen car and were the European champions!  Of course he was somewhere behind a screen doing things with all the data form the car and give instructions to the driver. It is so nice to see the kids ( all kids from school) going well in life after Aventurijn. Thanx for your help!"

From the Aventurin blog, "The Day After:"
This afternoon, June 13, many parents and children were watching the consequences of the devastating fire. One group, the teenagers on the loss of its room:  "My most beautiful drawing was still in my bin" Or "Yes! My writing is under the rubble! "Tears, hugs, crazy jokes, thankfulness for what we saved. Everything was there this afternoon. Experiencing this together is also part of the school, part of life. Yes, a part of the school is gone, and we can not enter the school.  It stinks, but ... We, here are the people at Aventurijn, WE are the school. With or without the building ... .. We ate melon and listened to the stories. Last night, when I walked home in the dark, I saw the white jasmine flowers, and after all the smoke I enjoyed the delicious sweet smell. I put the twigs in my smoke-smelling house, and when I returned this afternoon my house no longer burns, but is Jasmijn. Nature transcends everything. We celebrated that this afternoon in our beautiful vegetable garden. We are thankful for this group of people!

We can not be at the property with the kids: it is unhealthy and too much is gone. Tomorrow we can be in a wondefull spiritual centre in the village in the forest. From there we can walk to the place where we will do the musical we were rehearsing ( "a sort of sound of music"). Some kids also organized a camp we will have next week. So we are focussing on the activities the kids were into before the fire ( musical and camping) and besides that we will be together and look at the process everybody has to go through now; So talking, crying, crowd funding everything will be worked on. The last week before summer holidays we hope we can prepare some things for next year in the parts of the building that are not gone.

We got a lot of lovely reactions from people around us: people who are collecting materials, offers help. The inspector visited us spontaneously: He is the man with whom we had a court case in 2002, and after that he was our greatest supporter and now retired. 

Tomorrow ( monday 19) the insurance inspectors will come.After that, we hope to know more about what has to be done, what are the costs, when they will start cleaning up the property, and what is possible for next year with the kids.

For us, as founders, it is amazing how all the work we did over all these years, was gone in a "flash." We built up the building from a ruined state with a lot of volunteers. It is also amazing to get so much support and to realize that Aventurijn has a place in so many hearts. That is great!

BigBig Conference Announcements Tomorrow
The AERO team has been working for two weeks on redoing and streamlining the conference site, and even on creating a short animated conference video. We'll release a special conference newsletter tomorrow with those, the results of the mid-week poll, the discussion on the conference theme and much more! Meanwhile there is less than a month and a half until the AERO conference. Please register now if you are coming or contact us if you have any specific needs, have a group, or any questions. Write to or call the office at 516 621 2195. 

Register now here.
Anchor2Secret Worlds of Learning at SVS
By Wendy Lement

Over the past few months I have noticed, and been fascinated by, the proliferation of "secret worlds". As I'm an invited guest to these meaningful and sometimes sacred endeavors, I must omit names, locations, and other details, so as not to break bonds of trust. That said, I will attempt to convey the multifaceted substance of what has truly amazed me.

Read the rest here.
Anchor4AERO Job Listings
The jobs section is one of the most visited sections of the AERO website. AERO members can post free. Lately several great schools and programs have contacted us, looking for teachers who really understand learner-centered approaches. These include such geographically diverse programs as Self Managed Learning College in the UKModern Academy, Cancun, Mexico,  A Child's Place School in NJ, Summa Academy in Portland, OR, Liberated Learners NetworkJefferson County Open School in Colorado, Prairie Green in Iowa, Pono in Manhattan, Little River School in upstate New York, Kalapa in Colombia and Los Ninos del Mango in Southern Spain
Anchor6School Starters + Consultation Program: Last Day for Special Offer
You can now enroll in this year's School Starters Online Course as we were requested to do. For one more day we are offering something very special. If you register now we will immediately give you the benefits of the between courses School Starter Consultation Program, usually $300. You will have full access to last year's course, seeing all the resources and sections. This will get you well ready for the official course in September. At that point the Consultation Program ends, We then blind the course and start opening up one section at a time and guide you through the interactive process of starting a new alternative. 

Register for the course here. 

 Reply to this e news if you have specific questions. 

There will also be a school starter thread at this year's AERO Conference
Anchor12Help Fund the Edushifts Book Initiative
EDUshifts Now! - a new way of sharing information and sparking a movement. It's not just a book, it's social experiment. Sixteen educational thought leaders from different countries share their vision for the future. They have put together their ideas, knowledge and stories in a book called EDUshifts Now!

This book is a collective call for a transformation of education globally. We have chosen a book as a tool to mobilize a global community of practice. We don't just offer a book, we invite you to join the global movement to share ideas and inspiration. How can you do that? Follow the link.

Lear more here.

Anchor11Links and Calendar



Please send us feedback on this issue. also, we would like to have more articles written by AERO members and about AERO school and organizations.  Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help , we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!