Conversations about The SEED often begin simply enough with the following question: “What is The SEED?” Much as I would love to have a direct and honest answer ready for dispatch, the truth is that I never know exactly how to respond. Far from being a problem, however, I see this as indicative of something very powerful; indeed, exactly what sets us apart from the herd.
The SEED is what it needs to be for the community it comprises. Our roots and our foundation lie in adult learning - specifically adult English language and literacy - with a leadership component. This comes from our belief that education is not simply preparatory (as in, something done to move on to ‘real life’), but rather that education happens concurrently with action - action to make one’s life better, to transform one’s community, or to reach out to other communities.
Since the beginning, The SEED has had a desire to democratize the learning space, and has a desire to work with learners to become teachers of something about which they are passionate, skilled, or curious. This came from some experiences at a former program which allowed learners to develop and teach lessons. At The SEED, we hope to do more to uplift the voices, knowledge, and ways of knowing of our participants.
Recently, two projects have begun to coalesce which are worth mentioning. Both came out of conversations with both large groups and individuals, and both will absolutely make The SEED even that much more amazing!
The first program, which is to be developed and led by Rocio and Lupita, is an early childhood education program. The SEED has always been open to parents bring their children to class, and we’ll never turn a mother or father away because they’re caring for their children. What we do know, however, is that having kiddos in an adult education space can be difficult in terms of maintaining focus amongst the learners. Even more than that, of course, is that young children - early in their development - would benefit greatly from a program designed to engage their little minds in fruitful exploration.
I’m excited to be on this journey - one which will cause the three of us, using the rest of our community as guides, to negotiate many difficult and challenging questions. We’ll develop a program based on our experiences, our passions, our questions, and our hopes and dreams, and we will change the lives of our community members and their children as we change our own.
Be sure to follow our progress, and reach out with any suggestions or questions!