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The Jersey Shore Free School Philosophy
Jersey Shore Free School is a free, democratic Sudbury school where children and teens are free to explore life and learning in their own way and at their own pace. When an environment supports this kind of freedom in learning, young people flourish: they learn with relative ease; they learn in a shorter period of time; they enjoy every day; they exude happiness and self confidence; they come to know and respect their special giftedness and that of others; they stay connected to themselves, listening within for their direction; they pursue the development of mind, body and spirit; they value democracy because they live it; they desire to contribute to community; they become fully responsible for themselves and for choosing their life path; and they learn everything they need to achieve their dreams.
In accomplishing this, the importance of a free school model cannot be underestimated. It is based on a trust and belief in the ability of children and teens to find and follow their inner guidance and passions. The questions: "Who am I? and What do I want?" are important questions to answer as they learn; the search itself is an important part of the learning; in fact, many adults have not yet found their answers. When students can answer for themselves at a young age, life opens many doors for them. They pursue their interests with gusto. They share with each other. The joy of discovery, invention, synthesis, intuition, accomplishment radiates from them.
Based on a model first developed at Summerhill in England by A.S. Neill in 1921 and later in the U.S. at Sudbury Valley School outside Boston and Albany Free School (in 1968 and 1969 respectively). The Jersey Shore Free School continues the fine tradition of graduating high school students who are internally motivated to pursue their highest good, to continue learning and growing throughout their lives, to succeed in getting into the college, graduate school and/or career of their choice, to help make the world a better place through their contribution, to become all that they are, and often to achieve beyond our wildest dreams.
Watch this video of JSFS co-founder Dr. Jeri Quirk address the top ten reasons to support a Sudbury education, given at the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury New Jersey on 2/4/09.
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