Downtown Delray Beach’s modern schoolhouse Space of Mind has launched a new initiative, the Community Classroom Project.
The CCP is a nonprofit, educational resource that was developed to reduce school-related stress through initiatives and experiential STEAM learning programs, educational solutions, entrepreneurship, scholarships and by bridging the gap between students, parents, educators, schools, mental health providers and the community.
“Through our work with Space of Mind, I saw the need in our community for services that help parents, educators and community leaders better understand a child’s social, emotional, academic and creative developmental process, environmental stressors and go-to coping mechanisms for their stress,” said Ali Kaufman, founder of Space of Mind and Community Classroom Project. “Through this new non-profit, we are able to offer a variety of opportunities to support those who are struggling to help the kids in their lives but don’t have the resources and tools.”
The concept was introduced over the summer during a Banksy-themed party on the expanding Space of Mind campus.
Highlighting the currently-under-construction community center, to be known as The Hub, the party offered tours showing off the different creative, learning, performance and meeting spaces that will open next door to the existing Space of Mind Schoolhouse this fall.
Party guests were given colored construction hats and encouraged to #beabuilder to help launch CCP and The Hub.
Funded in part by the Community Classroom Project, The Hub, at 101 NW 1st Ave. will be a home to the nonprofit’s headquarters, as well as the Think Tank, a resource center for parents, educators and community members, music, media, fashion design and art studios, an entrepreneurship incubator, commissary kitchen, cooking school, community theater and science classroom/lab.
The Hub will also offer memberships, community programming, event rentals and meeting spaces for local businesses, groups and organizations.
Space of Mind was launched by Ali Kaufman in Delray in 2004 as a private coaching company focused on supporting clients with inattention, disorganization and anxiety.
Frustrated with the lack of flexibility within the traditional school system to meet stressed-out students’ individual needs, Kaufman started her own social homeschool program in 2010 with just three students in her living room.
Quickly, that group grew, and by the time SOM moved into the historic Clarke House (circa 1896) in April 2011, there were eight students. Since then, SOM has grown to 40+ full-time students, 16+ staff members and also offers programs for post-high school students and adults.
Kaufman said The Hub will be an extension of what Space of Mind offers its students to the community.