The essence of Jane Addams School is the democratic nature of how we conceive and develop our initiatives. We strive to create spaces over time in response to desires and opportunities which the community and our institutional participants, as equal partners, identify. The school demands participation in existing activities, and the vision and creativity of all participants, in order to grow.
Activities at Jane Addams School have no static definition, but learning takes place regularly in several ways.
Learning Exchange Circles
Participants self-organize in learning circles and pairs, mixing English speakers with native speakers of other languages.
The circles are categorized by the major languages besides English spoken at Jane Addams School. However, people of many different ethnic backgrounds participate, and all are welcome.
Public work in the community
The Jane Addams School responds to desires and opportunities which participants identify. This has led to a number of activities that take place in the community apart from the learning circles. Since 1996, Jane Addams School participants have created a variety of public work initiatives including neighborhood art and theater projects with children, efforts to improve education at the local schools, a community wellness project, and work with immigrants on new policy initiatives for citizenship, health care, transportation, and housing.