Chicago Free School

Help us start a democratic free school on the South Side! The Chicago Free School is a student-centered, caring community with sliding-scale tuition.
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Lauren Beitler
408 Facebook Friends
Education
Chicago, Illinois
United States
4 Team Members

About The Chicago Free School

  • We are a group of parents and educators working to build a democratic free school for the South Side of Chicago.
  • At the Chicago Free School, students choose their classes and activities based on their individual interests.  We do not have required classes, grades, or standardized tests.
  • Students participate in democratic decision-making to create school rules, resolve conflicts, and suggest topics to study.
  • Our small size of 60 students with 5 full-time teachers ensures that students get lots of personal attention in a caring community.
  • We emphasize learning that is authentic, exploratory, and connected to the community. Our location on the second floor of Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park is ideal for accessing local parks and museums and taking public transit on field trips throughout the city.
  • We are committed to social justice and racial and socioeconomic diversity. We offer sliding-scale tuition so that we are affordable for every family, regardless of income.
  • Every day, families express to us their urgent need for a new kind of school for their children. Your donations help us prepare to open in September 2014 and keep our school affordable to everyone through sliding-scale tuition.

What We Need & What You Get

  • The money we raise from this campaign supports start-up costs for our school.  In the long run, we'll meet over 90% of our costs with money collected from tuition, but we need your help to get us ready for the first day of school! 
  • The money we are raising now goes to pay for furniture, books, technology, supplies, and staff pay for our teacher planning and orientation period.
  • The money we raise helps us implement sliding-scale tuition so that our school can be affordable for every family.
  • Our thank-you gifts to you feature our cool new logo.
  • Thanks to our 501(c)3 sponsor, the Experimental Station, your gift is tax-deductible. 

The Impact

  • In our current climate of high-stakes test pressure and resource cuts, it is increasingly difficult for many schools to meet the social and emotional needs of students and provide an environment where learning can be authentic and fun.  Families are eager for a school that will give students the autonomy and flexibility to pursue their own interests in a supportive community.
  • Free School students grow up to be self-possessed, caring, self-motivated adults and truly engaged citizens.
  • Our group includes educators with years of experience serving Chicago's students who will apply their expertise to create a school that will really meet the needs of children in a caring, joyful environment. 
  • Our school functions as a truly democratic community - we involve students, parents, and teachers in making decisions and give everyone a voice.

Help Us Reach Our Goal!

  • Your tax-deductible donation of any amount helps us demonstrate the need and the enthusiasm for this unique model of education.
  • Our goal is to reach 300 donors at any level. 
  • Please feel free to share our campaign via email or facebook.  You can click the buttons or copy and paste the web address shown in the box.
  • If your employer matches contributions, email or message us and we will send you a digital copy of the W9 form.

Find This Campaign On
$18,670USD
raised by 143 people in 1 month
57% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$32,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 10, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    Mug

    Your donation buys set of novels for a reading group. Our thank-you gift to you is a Chicago Free School mug with our logo and slogan in full color.

    36 claimed

  • $50USD
    Tote Bag!

    Your donation buys one month of CTA fares for field trips. Our thank-you gift to you is a canvas tote bag with the Chicago Free School logo and slogan in full color. Carry the Free School with you.

    17 claimed

  • $75USD
    T-shirt

    Your donation buys a kit of science experiment supplies. Our thank-you gift to you is an american-made white cotton t-shirt with our logo. Stylish.

    7 claimed

  • $100USD
    T-shirt and photo

    Your donation buys a set of books and supplies for a theme unit on modern architecture or ancient civilizations. Our gift to you is a t-shirt plus a personalized photo of our first day of school!

    10 claimed

  • $250USD
    T-shirt and photo album

    Your donation sponsors a visiting teacher residency so we can bring in experts in art, dance, music, history, and more, Our thank-you gifts are a t-shirt plus a color photo album with the best moments from throughout our first year.

    4 claimed

  • $500USD
    Name on founding donors plaque

    Your donation sponsors a student for one month and helps us provide sliding-scale tuition to all families. Our thank-you gifts to you are a t-shirt and photo album, plus we will inscribe your name on our founding donors' wall.

    7 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Name on founding donors plaque

    Your donation buys two laptop that students can use for independent projects, research, and programming. Our thank-you gifts to you are a t-shirt and photo album, plus we will inscribe your name on our founding donors' wall.

    3 claimed

  • $2,500USD
    Name on founding donors plaque

    Your donation sponsors a student for one semester and helps us provide sliding-scale tuition to all families. Our thank-you gifts to you are a t-shirt and photo album, plus we will inscribe your name on our founding donors' wall.

    0 claimed

  • $5,000USD
    Name on founding donors plaque

    Your donation sponsors a student for one whole year and helps us provide sliding-scale tuition to all families. Our thank-you gifts to you are a t-shirt and photo album, plus we will inscribe your name on our founding donors' wall.

    0 claimed

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