Welcome to ALF Summer at ALC Mosaic 

Play, Learn, Grow…

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This year’s program is now full. Check us out in 2019!

@ ALC Mosaic

This collaborative training experience is designed for those interested in understanding and practicing Agile Learning Facilitation, starting an Agile Learning Center, and/or developing a relationship with the ALC Network and its southeastern US region.

This year’s ALF Summer includes 3, 5, and 10-day ALC experiences. Scroll on to learn more.

ALC Mosaic is a partner and collaborator in the Agile Learning Centers Network and educational model. This summer there will be several ALF Summer experiences offered across the ALC Network, designed to provide more options for startups and emerging facilitators, and to strengthen the regional communities within the larger ALC Network.

ALF Summer at ALC Mosaic will be organized into three distinct offerings, allowing participants to join us for some, most, or all of the ALF Summer experience. Scroll onward!

Choose your own ALF-venture

At a Glance:

July 9-11: ALC Foundations 

Learn about the core ideas that have inspired the ALC model, dive into your personal de-schooling process, and explore ALC tools & practices in this three-day workshop!

9am-5pm Monday – Wednesday

July 9-13: ALC Foundations + Co-Creation

Stay for an additional two days to co-create an ALC with other ALC facilitators and startup teams.

July 12 & 13 is also 9am-5pm

July 9-20: The Works (Foundations + Co-Creation + ALC with Mosaic students)

Stay for an additional week and you can experience ALC Mosaic with some of our students. Immerse yourself in the full ALC experience with all ages and practice facilitation in the ALC context.

July 16-20 is 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday

Location: 6100 Monroe Road, Charlotte NC 28212

Learn more about each of these three aspects of our ALF Summer below…

ALC Foundations: July 9-11

Do you want to facilitate? Do you want to support self-directed learners in both individualizing their education and building a healthy community? Are you interested in the intersection of Agile and Education? Are you looking for tools and practices to adapt for your own project?

Join us for a three-day introduction to facilitation and Agile Learning! Experienced ALC facilitators will create an agenda of offerings to share the theory, practices, and immersive experiences related Agile Learning Centers. Participants will also be invited request specific offerings or make their own.

Pre-requisites:  Please download and read our Starter Kit, as well as Free to Learn by Peter Gray.

We may also send you some additional blog posts to read and/or videos to watch before arriving.

Foundations + Co-Creation: July 9-13

This option includes the Foundations 3-day program, plus two additional days of ALC with other adults. While the Foundations program will have agenda of topics covered, the immersive ALC days will have no pre-determined agenda items. You will co-create the experience with us!

Experienced ALFs will be facilitating daily intention/reflection groups, as well as making offerings to dive deeper into ALC practices. However, offerings are not limited to theory or discussions. You and others can make offerings that involve movement, the arts, literacy, mathematics, group games — anything! We will create our own ALC (for adults) so you can experience it firsthand. 

We’ll meet Thursday & Friday from 9am – 5pm.

The Works: July 9th – July 20th

Don’t miss a minute! This option includes ALC Foundations, the extra days of co-creating an ALC together, and practice facilitating with kids!

We are inviting our students to come in for a week of ALC in the summer (something they are excited to do!). This is an immersive experience into what a week in an ALC feels like with people of all ages. Participants can make offerings and request offerings from other facilitators and students, or work on their own ALC start-up projects.

The day for adults will run from 9am-5pm, while the students will be at ALC from 9:30 to 3:30. Adults will have the opportunity at the end of the day to reflect on the days’ experience.


Nancy Tilton is the founder of ALC Mosaic and the Director of Education for the Branches program. After working in public schools in Maryland and North Carolina and a leading a small private Friends school in Charlotte, Nancy set out to start her own school. Inspired by the traditions of democratic schools and unschooling, she started The Mosaic School. After connecting with the first ALC in NYC, The Mosaic School became ALC Mosaic and the first major collaborator in the ALC Network.

Lacy Arnold Manship is the Director of Education for the Roots program and founding community member at ALC Mosaic. Her interests are in respectful communication with young children, creating play spaces, natural literacy development, connection to the natural world and critical literacies as a tool for social change. She writes about and tinkers with these ideas as a facilitator and director of Roots, Mosaic’s early childhood program.

Akilah S. Richards is an unschooling podcaster, writer, and founding board member of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education. Her work both challenges and encourages social justice minded people to explore privilege and power in their relationships with children. In her own family, Akilah, her partner, and their two daughters, use unschooling as a tool for decolonizing education and liberating themselves from oppressive, exclusive systems. Find her conversations and commentary at Fare of the Free Child Podcast where Akilah supports, connects, and highlights people of color designing their own liberation through Self-Directed Education and love-centered community building.

Tomis Parker has been facilitating in Self-Directed Education environments since 2009. He helped birth the first Agile Learning Center in NYC and served as the Director for three years. he now lives in Charlotte, NC where he serves as the Director of Operations. He recently facilitated the launch of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education. He is passionate about sharing the ALC model, building bridges through the work of Self-Directed Education, and supporting communities where young people are trusted to create a better world.

Dr. Scott Speed is an educator, entrepreneur, and social innovator. Scott is the co-founder of GROW, a Self-Directed Education school, and host of The Race Haven Podcast which models solutions-focused dialogue about race relations in America. His work and solutions-focused beliefs are rooted in Systems Thinking, a way of solving complex problems through seeing and honoring the interconnectedness of the dynamic systems and subsystems that comprise our world.


How much does it cost?

Foundations: $225

Foundations + Co-Creation: $350

The Works: $675

ALC Mosaic offers a sliding scale tuition that spans ten tiers and ranges from $1,200 to $11,900/year. All of the proceeds from this year’s ALF Summer program will go towards a scholarship fund that will allow us to enroll an additional student whose family has applied for Tier 1 ($1,200/year). We would be delighted to receive extra financial support from ALF Summer participants who are able to give more. Your contributions will directly increase the accessibility of Self-Directed Education at ALC Mosaic. Please consider making an additional donation if you have the means to do so.

We also want the ALF Summer program itself to be accessible! If we are reserving a limited number of sliding scale spots for those who are a great fit for ALF Summer but for whom the cost is prohibitive. Email us at [email protected] for more info.

What all is included? Will there be food? Housing? Hot tubs?
  • Participation in the program
  • Light breakfast
  • Catered local, organic, Granola Moms© approved lunches
  • Lots of Sharpie markers and sticky notes
  • Some additional curated resources
  • A safe and inspiring space for your de-schooling and self-learning
Not included:
  • Dinners
  • Housing (see below)
  • Childcare (see below)
  • Hot tubs (unless we decided to build one together)
  • Toothpaste (bring your own toothpaste)
I’m coming from out of town, where can I stay?
There was a time when we offered to find and coordinate housing for everyone, which winds up being quite a thing! This year, we’ve decided to keep the baseline costs of the program lower and ask participants to find their own housing arrangements. That said, we will gladly connect you with other participants once we’ve confirmed you are coming and send you all AirBnB options that are near our campus. We definitely recommend staying with other folks, as it will keep your costs down and provides a much more enriching experience since you can connect after-hours, too.
Can I bring my children to the 3, 5, or 10 day experience?
Yes! We will organize childcare for those needing this support. We will ask you to contribute an additional $20/day/child . Children can eat with us for an additional cost, or you can pack food for them. If you sign up for “The Works” childcare for the final week will be “free” in the form of full participation in the ALC week we’ll be co-creating with Mosaic students. Please make sure your child wants to be there 🙂
I have already attended an ALF Summer program in the past, can I still come to all or part of this program?
Yes! If you have attended any training program hosted by ALC Network or an individual ALC contact us directly at [email protected] to let us know your desire to return.
Will the food meet my dietary needs?

Yes! Please let us know on your application what your needs/preferences are and we will provide an option for you. 

Will I be able to work in an ALC after attending this program?
We can’t guarantee that. The ALC Network doesn’t manage the hiring practices of the various ALCs, nor is there a standardized prerequisite for being hired as an ALF. There aren’t prescribed jobs awaiting those who attend an ALF Summer. That said, the ALF Summer programs we are offering in various regions are designed to serve as a catalyst into this work, primarily through our support of self-organized ALC Startups that have already become ALC Network members. What we are offering is both a foundations workshop where you will be informed about ALC as well as immersive experiences. You will be a big part of determining what comes next!
I want to open an ALC. Will attendance at ALC Mosaic’s ALF Summer allow me to do this?

Let us know on your application if you would like to attend as a start-up ALC and we’ll go from there!

You will need to get our basic ALC Network membership at the very least, and then your participation in this program will only help you on your way to becoming a full-fledged ALC.

I have more questions, who can I contact?
Email us at [email protected]