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Report from Nuestra Escuela On Puerto Rico Recovery

Dear Friends:

Today I want to share with you a recount of the efforts our school has been implementing to contribute to the recovery of Puerto Rico following the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Status of our Staff
Immediately after the passing of Hurricane Maria, we generated an official chat so that each member of our staff could report how it was. It was a challenge due to problems with telecommunications, but in the end, we all were able to communicate our status after the hurricane. In this way, coordinators, principals, and directors of the organization were summoned to a meeting scheduled for the 26th of September in which the plan of action to be followed was presented. There we decided to go out to find the people who still did not know anything (both staff and students) to accompany us at the official meeting of the community on October 3, 2017, in the new headquarters of our school in Caguas.

Community meeting of our school

On October 3 Our community met almost entirely in order to know the personal and family situation of each one, to share experiences and to determine the alternatives that existed to begin to provide service, in addition to what would be the position of the Organization after this atmospheric event that inevitably changed our situation as a country. The decisions resulting from this meeting were:
-Start work on Wednesday 4 October in our centers of Caguas and Loíza.
-To assemble a communal canteen to offer food to students and their families as well as to our staff, making it extensive to neighbors in the area who need it.
-Restructure the transportation service that we usually offer to our students, adapting it to the new reality and their particular needs.
-Going out to find the staff and students we still had no information about.

After the meeting, I moved to Guayama with two members of the NE staff to go to the house of the last companion of whom we had no news. For us it was very important to know that he was well and to support him in need of some help.

“I was surprised because I had not had any communication with the school. I had searched the radio to see if I was hearing information … I did not expect it. I was playing cards with my family and suddenly Ana Yris arrived. They risked and arrived at my house in Guayama, that is very valuable. It’s an act of love that I value very much. ”
~ Fitzroy McGregor, Agriculture Facilitator at Nuestra Escuela.

Likewise, both teachers and social workers from Caguas and Loíza went in search of students of whom we still did not know anything, as was the case of Limarie Roldán, science facilitator and mentor at our center in Caguas, who visited the house of his student Anthony Santana and spoke with his dad, who was surprised to see it and thanked him for getting there.

“He told me that Anthony wants to stay in Puerto Rico. They do not want to go to the United States like they had planned after the hurricane. He wants to stay in Nuestra Escuela. Dad was very happy to see me. “Let Anthony know that you came here!” He said.
~ Limarie Roldán, Science Facilitator and Mentor at Nuestra Escuela.

For an educational organization like ours is very important the welfare of our and our students. It gives us great joy to know that you are pleased to be part of this community and that you feel loved and respected. It is our greatest reward.

“I was happy when I learned that Limarie went to my house and that we would start classes again … It is that in Nuestra Escuela they attach great importance to the student. I would be here every day. I have many friends and I do not want to go to the United States because I would feel as if I would abandon them. ”
~ Anthony Santana, Student at Our Caguas School.

A new beginning
Upon restarting work, the students met with their mentors to resume and adapt their different projects to the new reality of the school and the country. It was they who decided what they are going to be doing in the next 3 weeks. Their efforts are focused on the recovery of their communities and the well-being of their neighbors. They are:

At Nuestra Escuela, we are very grateful for all the approaches and support we have received. At the moment the main need is to sustain our community dining room that allows us to bring happiness to our young people and their families by offering a hot meal a day and that serves as support in these critical moments that our island lives. If you want to help with food or drinking water do not hesitate to contact us Every donation is well received!

With your help, we will raise this country, one day at a time.

Big hug!

Ana Yris Guzmán Torres
Executive President
Nuestra Escuela

Donations to support the work of AERO sustaining member Nuestra Escuela can be sent here. We will send 100% to the school.

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List Of Available Audio Downloads From The AERO Conference

You can buy these downloads here.
1. Radical Unschooling – Dayna Martin
2. Big Picture Learning – Dennis Littky
3. Free to Learn – Peter Gray
4. Educational Freedom – Jonathan Kozol
5. On Race, Personal Power, and Lifetime Education – Akilah Richards
6. The Uterus-based Curriculum – John Gatto
We have CDs of the following mini talks:
All three speakers on one CD or DVD
7. Mini Talk – Jamaal Bowman
8. Mini Talk – Michael Hynes, Ed. D.
9. Mini Talk – Brenna Gibson Redpath
All three speakers on one CD
11. Mini Talk – Joanna Faber
12. Mini Talk – Jane Macdonald
13. Mini Talk – Debra O’Rouke
We have CDs of the following workshops:
14. Creating Learning Opportunities – Dindi Kitonga
15 Nature as a Springboard for Learning in Urban Areas – Deanna Fahey
16. The Rebirth of Public Education Richard Fransham
17. Democracy for Life: An Overview of RONR Ted Weisgal
18. The Essential Component of A Democratic School – Dave Lehman, Ph.D.
19. Teacher Liberation – Joel Hammon
20. Prescription for a Healthy School – Peter Berg
21. Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities – Steve C. Imber, Ph.D.
22. Changing the Special Education Paradigm – Forsythe, PhD/Cochran, MEd
23. Unschooling!: A Review of the Research – Gina Riley, Ph.D.
24. To Read or Not to Read: Rethinking Literacy Practices – Charlotte Landvoigt, Ed.D.
25. My Personal Journey – Carol Nash
26. From Unschooling to College: One Young Man’s Story – Benjamin Riley
27. The Parallel Experiences of A Learner/Educator – Laurel Tien
28.. How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen – Joanna Faber
29.  Mani Aloha Project – Stephanie Shuler
30. Aero 2017 School Starter Workshop – Jerry Mintz
31. What Public Systems Can Learn From Alternatives – Debbie O’Rourke
32. Report on Homeschool Study for Pioneer Institute – Bill Heuer
33. Adventures in Integrative Education – Jan Magray
34. How to Create A Self-Directed Education Community – Ben Draper
35. Encouraging Individuals – Liam Corcoran
36. Varieties of Participative Practices in Democratic Schools – Michael Retza
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Special Sale Of AERO Audio And Videos For E-mail Delivery!!

If you've bought DVDs of the keynotes at AERO conferences in the past you know that the quality has been uneven. But this is the year to get them, as well as the audio of the workshops. We can now send you by e-mail or by thumb drive any or all of the audio or video of the keynotes, and 42 of the audio of the workshops. And if you prefer, we can still send you DVDs of the keynotes and CDs of the workshops. But we're only going to do this for a limited time. It takes some work and as you know, we're already working on the second regional AEROx and the next School Starter Course.

So, we're drastically cutting the price for these videos and audio, but this will probably be the last week you can order them.

One clue that these keynotes and workshops were really great this year is that many of the orders so far were from people who were at the conference, and they should know best. And many of them had already received videos and audios that were made on the spot by Back Country Recording. Of course, some of you not from the Northwest were not able to get to the conference this year, so you should definitely order these while you can.

To give you idea of the quality we've made a short sampler for you here

Also, as a bonus, here's a link to the School Starter's Workshop (the next course will start in September). 

In our last notice, we accidentally left shipping in. that's gone now. Of course, there is no shipping for a video or audio sent by e-mail!

Now the price to download the audio for an individual workshop or keynote is $5, the video for an individual keynote is also $5, the full set of 43 workshops is $49, the video of all of the keynotes is $49, and the entire set of audios of workshops and videos of keynotes is $98. If you want the physical DVDs, they are now $99, just select that option on the drop down menu. The emailed videos and audio could take a couple of hours or more to download, but you'll have them right away instead of by mail in five days. We can also e-mail you individual Mini-Talks for $5 for audio and $5 for video. If you want the physical thumb drive sent to you it is $99 and the thumb drive of the videos is $49, plus postage. If you want the DVD it's a bit more expensive because they are not individual mini talks, you have to tell us which group of mini talks you would like. There are no full sets of audio CDs.

I'm amazed by the quality of this year's videos and audio, as you can see from this sample and the school starters workshop

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School of Living has land available in Virginia

School of Living
Request for Proposals
Itsodi Land
School of Living (SOL), a regional community land trust, is seeking proposals for the use of Itsodi, 67.86 acres of beautiful rural land in Amherst County, VA, not far from Amherst and Lexington.  All but 2 acres are assessed as woodland and included in a reduced property tax program for agricultural land.  The garden and orchard soils are organic and host native species.  There are 3 frame buildings, in average and poor condition. There is a well and septic for the house site. 
The land is part of SOL’s community land trust, and was acquired by SOL in 1999 for use by an independent Cherokee tribe. The tribe used it for ceremonies, retreats, preservation of indigenous culture, organic agriculture, and restoration of native species. However, because of a decline in membership, they have chosen to end their lease.   We seek proposals for the use of Itsodi from individuals or groups who would like to lease the land and, if desired, build their own buildings, which they will own.  Because of the land’s history as a center for the preservation of indigenous culture, preference will be given to proposals from Native American groups.
For more information or to arrange a site visit please contact Rita Jane Kiefert at (540) 463-4042 or email:
For more details and complete instructions for submitting a proposal see our website  Email proposals, by July 1, to   

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