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The Free School

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Education & Literacy
  • Environment


8 Elm StreetAlbany, NY 12202 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Free to learn.


Founded in 1969, The Free School in Albany, New York is the longest running inner-city independent alternative school in the United States. We provide a unique alternative to traditional models of education by offering children a self-directed approach to their learning. Students at our school, many whom have slipped through the cracks of today’s regimented test-driven school system, flourish in a nurturing environment that allows them the freedom to chart their own course of learning while fostering emotional growth and inter-personal skills.

At The Free School, students not only learn the traditional academic subjects, but also valuable lessons about responsibility, problem solving, social justice and most importantly, how to relate to each other. We have always placed great emphasis on student’s emotional well being, fostering loving, caring relationships and developing a community of engaged learners. It is our focus on community building that encourages students to follow their dreams, contribute positively to society, and become voices for change.

The Free School has an active garden program at our Downtown Albany campus, as well as over 200 acres of forest in Grafton, NY. Volunteer postings on this page include work days and events at the garden and Grafton land.


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