Education & Enrichment

Woolman Educational and Enrichment Programs connect people in deep and meaningful ways with the natural world through powerful experiences for authentic engagement and expression. We provide growth and learning experiences for youth, families, adults and groups that incorporate scientific inquiry, personal reflection and community building. We have several programs in various stages of development and implementation.

Woolman Outdoor School

The Woolman Outdoor School offers schools an outdoor program that is one to five days in length. Our goal is to introduce youth to the outdoors in ways that allow authentic expression, meaningful inquiry, and access to a lifelong love of the natural world, within the context of the Quaker ideals of group process and individual actualization. The Woolman Outdoor School piloted 2019 with the North Oakland Community Charter School, Castlemont High School and the Oakland Unified School District. Often underserved by outdoor education opportunities, we see the benefit of bringing students to Woolman from inner-city schools. We are looking to expand these opportunities for students from similar areas.

One student still credits the program with helping her realize her own leadership skills. It allowed her to safely step outside of her comfort zone and try things she had never done before, like taking a night hike and putting to words her experiences in the lyrical hip-hop class.  Her teachers at Oakland High School are still marveling at the changes she made and that they are lasting well beyond the week she spent here.  

This program is currently on hold through the Covid-19 crisis.

Jorgenson School for NonViolence

The Jorgensen School for Nonviolence envisions a world where positive social change is achieved through personal awareness, societal understanding, and nonviolent direct action.

JSNV provides meaningful and collaborative learning experiences that enable individuals to see their own role in the perpetuation of violence, to change those ways of being, and to respond to the violence they encounter in their own lives, relationships, workplaces, communities, political systems, and world through the use and understanding of nonviolent methods and direct action training.

JSNV is curretly under development and will have both an in-person and an online component. To help with sharing and rapport, in-person retreats and classes will begin and end each session. Between those two in-person retreats, learning will largely take place online.The nine-month course is for teens and adults will be holistic in nature including how lasting change begins within and expands out into the world. Students will learn practical lessons about the relationship between internal work and direct nonviolent action.

The coursework will be aligned directly with Quaker values: peace, simplicity, unity, community, integrity, equality, social justice, a culture of diversity, respect, nonviolence, learning to listen to the Spirit within, and sustainability.

Education Partners

Sierra Streams Institute is a watershed monitoring, research, and restoration group based at Sierra Friends Center. Our mission is to link water, science and people for the benefit of human and environmental health.  Sierra Streams Education Program offers an unparalleled educational experience where students engage in hands-on and place-based learning while gaining critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards are woven into all of our subjects.

Sierra Streams Institute is also one of the training sites, hosted at Sierra Friends Center for the UC California Naturalist Program. Students in the program will become part of a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and citizen scientists, equipped with the skills needed to take an active role in local natural resource conservation, restoration, and education.