NEW INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Thanks in part to a generous grant from the Edwards Foundation, the Albany Free School is initiating a comprehensive, yearlong residential intern program that will include valuable learning experience both in and outside of the school. If you would like information on how to apply to our internship program, please contact us here at the school.
The internship program has three main components, involving school, community, and personal growth:
Interns will teach full-time in the school with the ongoing support and guidance of a mentor, who is a member of the paid staff. Interns will not be locked into any specific role, but will be free to work with kids of various ages and to inspire students in the intern's areas of particular passion. Codirectors Nancy Ost and Chris Mercogliano will meet with interns once a week to talk over how things are going in school, answer questions, address concerns, etc. Interns will also participate in a weekly seminar where they can share insights and ideas, as well as discuss books they are reading together. The seminar will be led by former intern Sandra Winn, who is basing her PhD dissertation on field research she did at the Free School and who is now working in the Office of Cultural Education at the New York State Education Department.
Interns will participate in the Free School community's monthly talking stick circle -- our forum for community issues and safe space for getting personal support. We've been doing this for over twenty-five years and it is the glue that holds us together. Interns will also be invited to join in on such community satellite projects as our nationally distributed magazine the Journal For Living, our natural foods coop, our inner-city organic farm, our wilderness, farm and ropes course project in Grafton, NY, and various neighborhood political and environmental issues.
The internationally known author and therapist Michael Murphy will be leading Free School teachers, interns and community members through a powerful nine-month training that he has designed for teachers, clergy, and medical caregivers. The process is based on the idea that until we learn how to take care of our own selves we are in no position to take care of others. The training, which Mike conducts throughout Europe and the US, is his gift to the school because he believes so strongly in what we're trying to do with children and with each other. We will spend two intensive weekends together, one at the beginning and one at the end, and then meet regularly in between.
The Edwards grant has enabled us to set aside the school's largest living space (four bedrooms) for permanent intern housing, and thus to offer room and board to interns for the first time. Four interns will share a wonderfully sunny, 2nd floor apartment located at the center of the school community. The apartment comes complete with a high-speed Hewlett Packard PC and cable modem internet access, and has the school's farm with goats, chickens and several gardens in the half-acre backyard.