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A Letter to Everyone in the AERO Community

Dear AERO Community:

Sometimes we assume that all 14,000 of our readers know about everything that AERO does, has done, and wants to continue to do and why you should support us. Here is a short list of some of the things for which AERO has been a catalyst.

We helped start well over 100 schools and programs that we know of:

These include Brooklyn Free School, which was organized out of the International Democratic Education Conference that AERO hosted in 2003. In 2004 it became the first democratic school in New York City in decades. Now there are several others.

One of them was Manhattan Free School that has evolved into the Agile Learning Center. ALCs are now spreading around the world.

We also helped to start one of the first homeschool resource centers in England, A Place to Grow, in Stroud. It is now being replicated in other parts of England.

When Summerhill School was threatened with closure by the English education bureaucracy in the late 1990’s, AERO helped organize support for them around the world, including organizing the International Democratic Education Conference in 1999 at the school to demonstrate this support. Summerhill won their case and continues to this day.

When we helped organize the IDEC in Germany in 2005 democratic education was illegal there. We had the last day of the conference in a well known university and that was a game changer. Now there are democratic schools all over Germany.

AERO’s website is #1 on Google for Alternative Education. AERO has helped innumerable parents find educational alternatives for their children, and teachers find schools in which to teach. We also help people who want to start homeschooling. Mostly we do this free of charge. Furthermore, we often don’t hear  about people who find the resources they are looking for directly on our website, through our lists of member schools and democratic schools, for example. Many people have told us they have visited as many as 50 of the schools on our member list. Tens of thousands of people have accessed and copied the Ten Signs You Need a Different Kind of Education for Your Child. It has been translated into many languages.

We have over 600 member alternatives listed in 57 countries and 45 states. But it’s an open secret that we won’t remove any school that has ever joined because we know what an important resource it is for people who come to our website. So only about a third regularly renew their memberships. It’s a dilemma for us. Nobody ever asks us to have them be removed from this list because every student enrolled is worth thousands of dollars to them. We also provide current member schools with free job ads.

We used to publish Education Revolution as a quarterly magazine. People subscribed to it through paid membership. Now we publish Education Revolution free as an e newsletter every week, more than 50 times a year. Many people depend upon it for the latest news about learner-centered education.

AERO is a book publisher. We sometimes publish books that need to be published but can’t find a publisher. For example, we published the book of Nikhil Goyal, a 17-year-old student, One Size Does not Fit All. At the time we told him it could lead to having another book published by a mainstream publisher, and it did. His second book, Schools on Trial, was published by Doubleday. He is now getting his doctorate in England. AERO has now published more than a dozen books and e books. We also carry a hundred other hard to find books on educational alternatives in our online bookstore.

After AERO hosted the IDEC in 2003 we started having yearly AERO conferences and have now had 14 of them. Even though many of our attendees are not wealthy and our conference fees are very low, we’ve had keynoters who might ordinarily be expected to be at much higher-powered events. These included people such as Zoe Readhead, Head of Summerhill, Sir Ken RobinsonSugata MitraRiane Eisler, Mimsy Sadovski of Sudbury Valley SchoolAlfie KohnYong ZhaoPeter GrayDebbie Meier, Yaacov Hecht and dozens more!

Many organizations and documentaries got their initial launch at an AERO conference and make good use of AERO’s resources to keep their important work going.

AERO is one of a very select few organizations in the world that brings anyone interested in educational alternatives and the idea of people as natural learners together under one banner.

We appreciate everyone in the AERO network and AERO truly is all of you. Just staying subscribed to the e newsletter and going to the AERO website do help us some because we have advertisers that support us. But if you want to help in a more substantial way and keep us doing this work please get our books, downloadsenroll in our coursescome tothe AERO conferencemake a tax-deductible donation, or better still, join the AERO elite and become a sustaining member for as little as $5 a month.

Your support will enable AERO to continue the transformational work it has been doing for decades and embark on new initiatives. We need much more support to really be a catalyst for the Education Revolution. Only you can help us do that! We’re not satisfied to just survive.

We know we don’t need to put in any special carrots or gimmicks! Nevertheless, all donors will get free membership or membership extension and a signed copy of my book.

Thank you for your support.


Jerry and the AERO Team

You can make your donation here.