The Living Education Center closed its school in Summer of 2008. Since then, LEC has continued to work on community education projects. Our most recent projects have included teaming with the Charlottesville Student Outdoor Club and taking groups of high school students to Costa Rica (2008) and the Galapagos (2010). For more information, please contact the LEC at 434-971-1647.
LEC provides a solid foundation in all traditional subject areas. All classes are rooted in a sense of place and where we are. Community social and political dynamics, the beauty and threats to our local environment, current events, historical and demographic trends and future possibilities are all significant parts of all subjects. And we have fun doing what we do.
LEC is small by design. We average one teacher for every 2-3 students. Students of differing abilities and grades often share classes together creating positive learning/teaching dynamics among the group. While many classes are offered continually, others are taught on a 2-4 year rotation so that all students can take a full range of classes
Outdoor Education and Field Studies
LEC students spend a great deal of their time outside the school walls. Day trips, overnight camping and road trips and hikes happen regularly. We have visited some of the most beautiful and important natural areas in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland and Kentucky. Science field studies, nature awareness, resource management and community issues are the focus of these excursions. We experience rivers, mountains, lakes, forests, beaches and marshes by foot, canoe and even bicycle.
Field trips to art galleries and installations, theater and cinematic events, governmental meetings and public hearings, parks and local businesses are commonplace. The Virginia Film Festival and Festival of the Book fill part of our regular school schedule. We go anywhere where the “action” is.
Projects and Community Service
A significant part of LEC’s mission is to coordinate community education projects (make this a link to the Projects page) and to be a positive force in the community. We have adopted Schenk’s Branch, a local urban stream and have taken responsibility for monitoring, cleaning, and organizing the community for its protection and restoration. We organize regular public forums on topics of educational, artistic and environmental importance. LEC sponsors the local Help Increase the Peace program for teaching tools for peace, justice and social change. We help raise money and lend working hands for local organizations, businesses and groups. We sponsor art projects and support artists who add beauty and richness to our lives. And we monitor local, county, state and federal proposals and decisions that would benefit or harm the environment or the lives of our students. All students receive credit for their participation.
At LEC every student is respected and honored as a unique individual. Each student’s needs, talents and potential are primary concerns. We act as advocates for our students and assist with personal, academic and career counseling. Weekly student councils teach interpersonal skills, communication, conflict resolution and peer mediation. Our unique schooling removes barriers to growth and offers opportunities unavailable elsewhere. No student “fails” because we never fail to support our students. Students receive credit for everything which they accomplish. At LEC, education is a journey with no end point.
Arts experiences are essential to all parts of our curriculum. Every class provides numerous opportunities for creativity, improvisation and self expression to be part of the learning process. Most of our teachers are working and performing artists who bring their experiences and their love of the arts into student’s daily lives. Both learning and teaching are essential creative acts. The Charlottesville community is rich in possibilities for art instruction and experience. LEC teams with local artists and art organizations to make these available to LEC students. At LEC we practice education with imagination.
Post Office Box 2612, Charlottesville, VA 22902