September 2020 Progress Report
Many exciting things are coming together — the synchronicities have been astonishing, and I am grateful each day that I get to do this work. Shaking up the status quo is no small task — but we’re doing amazing things together.
So, let’s jump in! Read on for our first monthly progress report. And as always, if you have any questions or want to become involved in what we’re doing, please reach out.
Designing a school that will transform lives
As you might guess, it takes a LOT of work to create a school that is truly equitable and works for everyone: students, teachers, parents, staff, and communities
Our rockstar Design Collaborative (a team of 8) started in July and has been working diligently on designing our curriculum, school calendar, school culture, staffing processes (finding, vetting, hiring, onboarding, continuing training and assessment), before and after school programming, and so on.
When a new need arises, we approach it with the mindset that it is possible to create a truly equitable school environment that is bold, energizing, life-affirming, and nourishing for everyone involved.
A space to call our own
We identified the school management company which will be handling our space/building acquisition. This is a HUGE logistical undertaking and includes considering things like:
- Getting our facility prepped
- Creating the leanest, most efficient school administration possible
- Human Resources
They are black-owned, highly innovative, fully in alignment with our mission, vision, and values — and they have a track record of producing the kind of results we expect at Illuminated Life School.
Dotting I’s and crossing T’s
We’ve been interviewing Puerto Rican lawyers to facilitate our licenses, permitting, employment, and other legal needs. As you can imagine, there is a lot that goes into starting a brand new school. We want to be sure everything flows seamlessly and we hit the ground running. We found two great lawyers – an employment lawyer based in Palmas (Ivonne Cruz), and a lawyer working at a large firm who’s experienced in non-profit schools (Helen Salichs) and has the resources of a large firm behind her. Both will be providing some work pro-bono and a special non-profit rate for the work that exceeds their pro-bono commitment.
People are starting to listen!
We were featured on the Entrepology Podcast — you can listen in here.
Getting the community on board
In order for this undertaking to thrive, we believe it’s ESSENTIAL to have community investment, involvement, and passion. The lifeblood of Illuminated Life School is healthy relationships. That’s why we’re recruiting local people to join our local school board! If you’re interested or know someone whom you think could be ideal, please reach out.
This Month’s Focus:
As planet Earth navigates COVID and all of the challenges of 2020, the dire need to care for our physical, mental, and emotional health is more apparent than ever.
At Illuminated Life School, health and wellness is a key component to our students’ experience. Below are some of the ways we incorporate health and wellness into the daily lives of our students:
*Our students start their day with yoga, meditation, and a “gratitude and goals” journaling practice.
*Every school has an organicgarden and students help plant, grow, harvest, and prepare the food they eat.
*Exceptionally healthy food is served — nothing is processed or refined. It’s mostly organic, free of all major allergens, meets all major religious standards, and the meal plan has been proven to improve kids’ overall health and cognitive functions.
*At Illuminated Life School, we know with 100% certainty that we belong to each other. Because we know this, we believe nourishment is critical. That’s why all students and facultyeat free (students get up to 3 meals and 2 snacks per day for free). And we have a free Saturday and Sunday meal program for children living with food scarcity — no child goes to bed hungry on our watch. Parent volunteers also get a free meal.
*High quality filtered water is provided to students and faculty (RO water).
*Students are encouraged to drink water throughout the day and have flexibility on when they take their snack and meal breaks.
*Students have autonomy and learn to manage their timeand care for their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing through fun and engaging experiences.
*Students learn about a variety of health & wellness modalities ranging from EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to homeopathy.
*Beautiful, functional design makes a difference! Our school’s “nurses’ station” looks more like a spa – a calm quiet oasis for students to take a break and get whatever physical, mental, and emotional nourishment they need. It’ll be stocked with natural elixirs and homeopathic remedies in addition to all of the”normal” stuff. The space is designed and our nurses are trained to nurture and care for our students and faculty.
Your investment matters — and right now your dollars go further!
Starting TODAY we’re hosting a $50,000 matching campaign!! For every dollar donated, Farukh and I will match your donation dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
We’re a 501c3 non-profit so your donations are tax-deductible (and we have Act 22/60 1101.01 status as well). We take donations in ANY dollar amount (every single dollar is helpful).
We have four easy ways you can donate:
Credit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer, or Check.
Here’s where you can donate now: https://illuminatedlifeschool.org/donate/
Again, THANK YOU for being a part of this exciting journey. I wake up every day energized and hopeful at the thought of a generation of amazing kids who have been so cared for, so thoughtfully taught, so equipped, and so EMPOWERED that they will have the capacity to beautifully transform the future.
If you have any questions or thoughts, we would love to hear from you.