Finding Hope Again: A Family’s Story

By // May 9, 2017

One parent’s moving story of her family’s experience finding LightHouse. When I was first asked to tell our story I really struggled with it. We have talked about it over time with many people, but to put it out there in writing was much different. How could I say everything in a short story that would help people realize the true … Read More

Getting on the (right) bus

By // January 9, 2017

This post was written by guest blogger–and LightHouse teacher–Amelia Sawyer. Over winter break, as I reconnected with family and friends who I see less regularly, I found myself telling everyone who’d listen how much I love teaching at LightHouse. While we sat around, eating and watching snow fall and eating some more, I’d describe this special place’s warm, open environment, … Read More

Graduation Planning

aerial photo of Holyoke, MA

By // December 8, 2016

This year will be the first that we will have students moving on from LightHouse to next steps…careers, colleges, job training programs, armed services…a whole variety of futures unfolding. This group of eight teens is really excited to have a LightHouse “graduation,” which left us with the conundrum of figuring out what a LightHouse graduation actually is! As with everything … Read More

Authenticity and Opportunity

By // October 18, 2016

One of my very favorite things about teaching at LightHouse is the organic nature of how our classes develop. As a teacher, I enter the classroom with a set of goals in mind, but really the class curriculum is best developed in an emergent fashion. That is to say that I derive the content of the class from the interests and … Read More

What the Teens Had to Say

By // June 28, 2016

The last week of the school year was presentation week, and every teen presented to the rest of the group about a highlight from their year. It was inspiring to not only to hear what each person to chose to present about, but also to see the many different formats they chose for their presentations (live demos, PowerPoints, readings, and more). It … Read More

Knowledge is Power

By // April 11, 2016

A couple of weeks ago we were very fortunate to have a visiting lecture from José López, brother of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner of the United Sates. Mr. López’s talk addressed issues of oppression and domination throughout history, artfully weaving together a variety of histories to help us critically analyze the state of the world today. … Read More

School Anxiety

By // March 24, 2016

In the last few weeks we have been busy meeting with teens and families who are applying to LightHouse for the fall. In our conversations, I’ve been struck by an often-repeated theme when I asked teens about why school hasn’t been working for them: anxiety. I have heard the story dozens of times now, teens for whom school has prompted … Read More

The power of an emotional education

By // January 6, 2016

How many of us have the chance to learn social and emotional skills as a part of our school experience? The reality is that very few of us ever have such an opportunity through formal education. But why? We put so much emphasis on learning academic skills, but why don’t we give the same importance to learning how to manage … Read More

Learning by Doing

By // September 29, 2015

Fridays are our community engagement day at LightHouse; a day that we are out and about in our neighborhood, getting involved in long-term projects and building relationships. These first two Fridays have been spent with the teens brainstorming ideas and building plans for our fall project, working to rehabilitate a neighborhood park one block over from LightHouse. Watching the process unfold … Read More

July Update (a.k.a. we’re really busy!)

By // July 29, 2015

As September approaches we are busier than ever getting everything in place for our opening year. I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by! We are very excited to be moving towards finally opening, and we have been getting a lot done in preparation. Here are a few highlights of what we’ve been up to: Selecting classes: Catherine has … Read More