what is a folkschool?
Folkschools bring in facilitators of arts and traditional skills to share in small group workshops. These schools facilitate learning exchanges within a community.
Life.School.House. began in K’jipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia, in a house owned by Jennifer Brenton DeCoste and Scott DeCoste. Using their home as a demonstration site, the DeCoste’s offered more than 50+ workshops during the first year of the Life.School.House. project.
On the surface, the model is very simple. Facilitators from the community bring their knowledge and expertise and exchange it for bartered goods brought by the participants. Our model is inspired and informed by the People's Schools of the Antigonish Movement, Trade School, Danish Folk School Model, and the Art of Hosting.
The vision of LSH is to create a world where people feel less isolated and more connected through the act of shared learning experiences.
What makes the Life.School.House. model different from most folk schools is that it is focused on community development – not just the preservation of traditional skills. Using a barter-based trade system, Life.School.House breaks down the financial barriers many people face when trying to access education and then these accessible classes engage neighbours in simple exchanges, share time and tea, connecting and learn from and about each other in a simple but meaningful way.
This is social innovation at its most grassroots—and most effective. It creates meaningful connections for newcomers to Canada, and also for those who have lived here for years and have never even met their neighbours. It is part of a rural renaissance – bringing the principles of self sustaining action back into practice.
Place-based neighbourhood and community building
Reducing the negative mental and physical impacts of social isolation
Barrier-free learning (using a barter and safe, non-institutional learning environments)