Our programs take place at our new campus located close to Bent Creek on three beautiful acres of terraced fields, trees, creek, and small ponds. Because of COVID, we're spending most of our time outside, and have setup multiple spots for the variety of activities that take place every day: an open workshop for woodwork and maker/tinkering space, an aerial gym, flexible classroom spaces, art space, yoga/movement space, a field for soccer and other field games, and chill space with hammocks. We also have a large collection of books, board games, musical instruments, and Montessori-inspired loose parts for creating endless imaginary play.
Roots is ZigZag's program for young kids ages 4-7. We focus on nature play, exploration, and community, with the guidance of natural rhythms for flowing through our day with safe, loving and empathetic supports and structures. In addition to the agile learning philosophies, ZigZag Roots builds on ideas from Democratic/Sudbury Schools, the history of play based progressive early childhood schools, and studies of Reggio Emilia. Enroll
The Branches program at ZigZag is designed for ages 8-15. We use light-weight structures for self-organization and intentional culture creation, allowing kids to engage authentically with the world through their passions and strengths. Our learning environment embraces choice, along with collaboration between kids, facilitators, other adult community members, and the larger community in Asheville. We are all about creating space and using tools that support kids, facilitators, and parents in having a voice and taking an active role in creating the community they want. Enroll
Offers are made by facilitators, kids, and other community members we invite during Morning Circle. They vary widely based on interest. Some of our recurring offers have included Mystery Science, Beast Academy math, comic book making, flow arts, lego robotics, sewing, field games, singing circle, yoga, obstacle courses, jewelry making, and storytelling.
In addition to daily offers made by our community, we also offer classes that build accumulative knowledge and skills. We're still working on the list of classes for the Spring, but here's are Fall '21 classes to get a feel:
- Coding & Robotics on Tuesdays
Keli Bryan went through a coding bootcamp last year, and has been teaching kids Scratch, Robotics, and App development online. She's excited to offer ZigZag kids an opportunity to learn programming concepts, and to make their own apps and games. A laptop is required. All levels are welcome.
- Build a Treehouse on Wednesdays
We are fortunate that master treehouse builder Mark Craven calls Asheville home, and we are delighted he will lead us in designing and building a treehouse on campus. The outside frame is already bolted to two trees. We will add floors, roof, stairs, and railings. A bonus to working with Mark is that kids also get to learn safe tree rope climbing.
- Earth Skills on Thursdays
We will learn about native plants, wild edibles, knots, fire building, and making useful things from materials we collect from the land. Chelsey Jones will run this class. She is a trained Agile Learning facilitator, and has lead a similar class at her previous ALC.
- Soccer on Thursdays
Preston Jefferson from Asheville Fit Tribe will teach us soccer in creative ways, using music and games.
- Drawing on Thursdays
We added this class because so many of the enrollment applications we got this year mention drawing as one the kids' top interest. Keli Bryan has a long background in art, and has taught it to middle and high school kids back in her public school days.
We want to extend our power-with liberation work beyond our interaction with kids at ZigZag, so this year we will be offering bi-weekly Family Meetups where we will offer parents de-schooling tools, power-with training, and a space to support each other in practicing connected parenting at home. These will be Zoom meetups until the COVID situation improves.