John Hand had a theory: for any problem a person might have, someone in their local community has a solution. To that end, he founded Colorado Free University, continuing a tradition that began with the Denver Free University of the 1970s and early '80s. Whereas the Denver Free University was created as a political move to make education more accessible, the Colorado incarnation sets its sights on simple personal betterment, becoming more of a learning network than a school. All of its teachers are independent contractors culled from the local community, and together they helm skill-based and enrichment classes for adults, spanning a range of artistic, humanitarian, and business disciplines.
Students can receive training in foreign languages or ASL, business or digital marketing, or acting, visual arts, or woodworking. The school's facilities also accommodate CompuSkills computer-training classes, which progress from basic sessions in computer operation to advanced sessions in photoshopping a ghost out of a family portrait. There are cooking classes, foreign language courses, and style classes, all of which turn out well-rounded pupils. The campus's 89-seat John Hand Theater, meanwhile, hosts intimate performances from local Firehouse Theater Company and Spotlight Theatre Company.
Spanish Is Fun founder Silvia Cubillos Velez knows that learning Spanish will be of great practical use in her students’ lives and careers, but the school’s goals don’t stop there. "We want people to be enchanted with the classes so they, too, can love the language and the culture," she told Viva Colorado. Though she traveled to Spain to complete her language education, Velez retains a deep love for the traditions of her Colombian homeland, and accordingly makes sure to weave Latin American literature and culture into her classes.
No matter what age or ability level they teach, the school’s staff of native Spanish speakers focus on communication rather than just conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary. Their formula has now been bringing students toward comprehension and fluency for more than a decade. Instructors immerse language learners in Spanish through techniques such as leading them in discussion groups or dunking them in a replica of the Alhambra fountain. They’ll also often swap classes to familiarize students with an array of accents and sounds, making full use of backgrounds that range from South America to Europe.
Open Media Foundation's staffers skillfully craft websites, edit videos, and capture studio broadcasts, but they don't work in a high-rise office building or inside a film-production studio. Instead, they use their tech savvy to help Denver community members to turn up the volume on their own stories. In addition to designing websites, producing videos, and providing other media services, the staff runs small-size classes to teach the fundamentals of video production, animation, and audio production to students hungry for the knowledge. The foundation also arms its prot?g?s and members with high-tech hardware, such as video cameras, editing systems, and discreet teleprompters, to make professional-grade projects more accessible.:
The staff members at Sylvan Learning Center understand that each child learns differently. They design custom lessons based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Sylvan's instructors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12 to improve their confidence and independence leading to their educational success. Many of Sylvan’s certified teachers work in local schools and have familiarized themselves with common practices, which help them understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results.
For more than 20 years, glass artist Agnes Sanchez has been breathing life into molten mounds, crafting delicate works of art that evoke the elements of the earth. Long-necked vases in glittering hues abut delicate ornaments at Agnes?s studio and gallery, Agnes of Glass, where the internationally trained artist exercises her technique and leads glass-blowing workshops. During the hands-on sessions, students and large-lunged wolves looking for a creative outlet exhale their way to completion of a decorative project.
More than 70 U.S. government officials, including the current speaker of the house, have visited CELL Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab since its 2008 opening. Their appearances are a testament to the nonpartisan museum's comprehensive overview of domestic and international terrorism, all developed by prominent counterterrorism experts. The exhibit delves into topics ranging from terrorism's history and media coverage to terrorists' methods, and is home to artifacts including a piece of wreckage from the World Trade Center that stands above a memorial to 9/11. They also engage museum-goers' noodles throughout with interactive stations that quiz them on their new findings. Beyond being informative, the exhibits are also aesthetically alluring, having been designed by Academy- and Emmy-award-winning artists.
The self-guided exhibit isn't the only way CELL strives to educate the public about terrorism and the ways it can be prevented. CELL's events include quarterly symposiums in which experts and government officials gather to discuss security and counterterrorism issues. Part of its Community Awareness Program, CELL's free classes inform citizens about the constitutional methods they can employ to help prevent terrorist activities.