"When we are connected, when we feel heard, when we feel like we aren't being force fed an education - that's when real learning takes place."— - Jessica Pilton
Checkout this front page Citizen Times article about ZigZag
We are a transformative Agile Learning community of diverse people of all ages in Asheville, NC. We practice Self-Directed Education, empathy-based communication, consent, and liberation. Liberation means freeing ourselves and our children from oppressive systems and schoolish mindsets of perfection, conformity, compliance, and zero sum games. We grow, discover, and celebrate our kids and ourselves exactly as we are.
Agile Learning at its core is about giving kids genuine choice about how to spend their time throughout their day, and this self-direction works best when done with intention and as part of a vibrant community. Facilitators and mentors offer classes, projects, activities, and weekly field trips based on the interests of the kids enrolled. We believe in the importance of play, nature, community, intention-setting, and trust-centered decision making.
We practice power-with instead of power-over, which means that all of our needs matter, kids and grownups alike, and we strive to always be on the same team to collaborate on meeting everyone's needs. This also means that we recognize societal and systematic power-over oppression that shows up as racism, sexism, ageism, ..etc. - and are active in re-balancing that so we can create a new, more inclusive culture at ZigZag that celebrates diversity and values differences.
We are an alternative to public/private schools for kids ages 4-13. We want to help families that never intended to pull their kids out of school, but find their kid is stressed, losing their curiosity, being bullied, etc., and needs help finding another way forward. We can help with that transition and be a resource in creating an education that is more meaningful and fun.
We are also a resource for unschoolers and homeschoolers already happy and comfortable with their education and just looking for another wonderful opportunity to enrich their lives.
What People Say
"Monday is nominally a school day, but “school” doesn’t seem apt in describing the discordant buzz of eclectic activities unfolding across the ZigZag Agile Learning Community." — Brian Gordon, front page story of the Sunday Citizen-Times.
"So grateful to have you all in our lives with this beautiful option of learning and cultivating a lifetime of curiosity and friendships for our kids. I couldn’t ask for more in a school. My heart is full." — Susanna
“This place is simply *amazing* and truly an incredible community to connect with!! We ADORE the families, the vibe, the leaders, the freedom, the field trips, the heart centered approach, the support for children's passions and interests, the conscientious AND fun activities (b loves the science experiments) and thoughtful all day ongoing children's questions-answering by these amazing folks. If you are considering alternatives to traditional public school, for whatever reasons are important to YOU, please consider checking it out! B will tell you - it's MAGIC!!!! (And as his passionate-about-education mom, I'm thrilled tremendously too😉)” — Kiley
"I love so many things about the space you have created. The desire to help create community. The kindness and kid empowerment. The open line of communication you create with kids and parents alike. The beautiful integration of careful thought and empathy. The grace with which you handle conflict resolution and misunderstandings. I appreciate your availability and willingness to follow all interests and paths. I love the lessons taught as things come up as issues for the kids (i.e. Consent! and many others). — Audrey
"The space that Hany and Keli have created is beautiful. It is a welcoming community that is free of judgement and filled with nurturing love. They both bring so much passion and love to school each day. They are constantly coming up with ideas for the kids to try, listening to the kids’ ideas, and more importantly, embracing every word they hear from them. ZigZag is not only a reflection of Hany and Keli’s vision, but also a reflection of each child, family member, and volunteer who make up the ZigZag community." — Shelby